97 dead and 2 survivors in the crash of an Airbus in Karachi

At least 97 people died in the crash of an Airbus A320 on Friday in a residential area in Karachi, the big city of southern Pakistan, according to a new report. Two passengers survived; It is not known if the disaster resulted in damage to the ground.

A whole neighborhood covered with ash of smoke. On Friday, May 22, in the middle of the afternoon, an Airbus A320 crashed by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in a group of houses in a residential area in Karachi, Pakistan.

The aircraft, which was approaching the city’s airport, carried 99 people (91 passengers and 8 crew members), a spokesman for PIA said on Saturday. Among them, 97 died, according to health services in Sindh province, and two survived. Among those miracles is Zafar Masud, President of the Bank of Punjab, one of Pakistan’s largest banks, said PIA President Arshad Malik.

Rescue efforts ended at dawn on Saturday, authorities said. All day Friday, rescuers and residents in the rubble searched for bodies, but it is unknown if the disaster resulted in injuries to the ground.

The aircraft was on the last road at the time of the crash

Levol PK8303 “lost touch with air traffic control at 2:37” (09:37 GMT), says PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez. According to the airline’s CEO Arshad Malik, the aircraft, an Airbus A320, was “on the final road” from Karachi airport when an incident occurred.

“The last time we heard from the pilot, he indicated that he had a technical problem,” Malik said in a video posted on Twitter. “He was told (…) that two runways were ready for the landing, but he decided to walk around.”

According to Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah, the pilot said he had “dropped an engine” and then made “an emergency call”.

Passengers returning home to Eidel-Fitr

According to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the plane on board had “many people returning home for Eid” el-Fitr, the celebration of the end of Ramadan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “shocked and saddened” by the disaster and sent his “prayers and condolences to the families and missing persons” on Twitter.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “prayers for those who died or were injured and their families”. The United States “stands by Pakistan at this difficult time,” he tweeted.

Many aviation accidents in Pakistan

Frequent civilian and military aircraft and helicopter crashes have occurred in Pakistan over the years. But according to Arshad Malik, CEO of PIA, his company’s fleet had been checked.

“These aircraft underwent a complete check, called” Alpha Control “, in March 2020. The inspection of the landing gear and engines of this aircraft was carried out in accordance with the applicable procedure. Nothing was left to chance,” he assured.

The last major air crash in the country goes back to December 2016 and it already involved a PIA aircraft. A business plan crashed in the mountainous northern country, killing 47 people.

With AFP