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A320 plane with 107 passengers onboard crashes in residential area near Karachi airport

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Lahore to Karachi crashes near Karachi Airport (Representative image | Reuters). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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KARACHI, May 22, 2020, India Today. Pakistan International Airlines flight, going from Lahore to Karachi, has crashed moments before the landing The aircraft was carrying around 100 passengers. The PIA plane crashed over a residential colony near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. The extent of damage or loss of life is still unknown. The loss of life in the residential colony is also probable, India Today reported.

PIA spokesperson Abdul Sattar has confirmed the crash. No information has been made available of the survivors as yet. “Saying anything right now would be premature. Our crew is trained to handle emergency landings. All my prayers are with the families. We will continue to provide information in a transparent manner,” PIA spokesperson said.

The visuals on the local media show a huge plume of smoke coming out from some houses in Karachi’s Model colony.

A media channel in Pakistan has confirmed that one of its senior staff members Ansar Naqvi has lost his life in the crash.

Pakistan’s Minister of Health & Population Welfare has declared an emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi due to the plane crash, local media has reported.

Pakistan had resumed commercial passenger air travel on May 16 after a prolonged nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 outbreak.

Relief operations

Ambulances, fire tenders and relief teams have reached the site of the crash, however, a large crowd gathered at the crash site is causing difficulties for the rescue workers. Pakistan’s armed forces have also put out a statement saying that their teams are on the spot. “Army Quick Reaction Force & Pakistan Rangers Sindh troops reached the incident site for relief and rescue efforts alongside civil administration. Details to follow,” DG ISPR, Pakistan Army’s spokesperson tweeted.

“Pak Army Aviation helicopters flown for damage assessment and rescue efforts. Urban Search & Rescue Teams are being sent on-site for rescue efforts,” it also said.A senior Pakistani bureaucrat has said PM Imran Khan has directed all emergency services to mobilised to manage the tragedy. “Our heart goes out to all families of onboard passengers of the ill-fated PIA plane that just crashed close to Karachi Airport. On PM’s directions, all emergency services and resources mobilised, evacuation in progress,” Asim Saleem Bajwa said.

Site of the accident

The majority of residents of the colony are the people, who migrated from India in 1947 during partition. As per the local journalists, India Today TV spoke to, most of these people or their ancestors had come from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. It is a well inhabited and developed colony, they said.

The PIA flight PK 8303 crashed over Model Colony in the Jinnah Garden area, which is at the stone-throw away from the Karachi airport.

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