The Plane, an Airbus A320 crashed one minute before landing - Sputnik International

Live Updates: 97 Die, 2 Survive in PIA Airbus A320 Crash Near Karachi

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A Pakistan International Airlines plane en route from Lahore to Karachi crashed near Karachi's Model Colony area.

A Pakistan International Airlines A320 Airbus was carrying at least 90 people and was scheduled to land at Jinnah International Airport when it suddenly crashed into a residential neighhbourhood in Karachi.

Rescue teams and law enforcement are at the crash site and have started rescue operations.

According to Geo News citing the Civil Aviation Authority, communications with the plane were lost one minute before landing.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Pakistan's Sindh Health Department spokeswoman Meeran Yousuf confirmed on Saturday that 97 people had died in the A320 plane crash near Karachi.

"Final #PlaneCrash update for today: Total people on board: 99. Total deaths: 97. Survivors: 02," Yousuf wrote on her Twitter page.

The spokeswoman added that 19 bodies had been identified so far.

The search-and-rescue operation at the crash site is underway.

21:59 GMT 22.05.2020

NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - Pakistan's Sindh Health Department spokesperson Meeran Yousuf confirmed on Friday that 80 people had died in the A320 plane crash near Karachi.

"#PlaneCrash Update: 80 deaths confirmed. 2 survivors. 48 dead bodies are at JPMC, 32 are at CHK. 17 bodies have been identified so far. #Karachi," Yousuf wrote on Twitter.

The search-and-rescue operation at the crash site is underway.

19:54 GMT 22.05.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - European aerospace giant Airbus said the crashed A320 aircraft operated by Pakistan International Airlines made its first flight in 2004.

"The aircraft ... first entered service in 2004. It has been in operation with Pakistan International Airlines since 2014. The aircraft had logged around 47 100 flight hours," Airbus said in a statement.

The company added that the plane had been powered by CFM56-5B4/P engines, produced by France's Safran Aircraft Engines and US's General Electric. The plane reportedly suffered an engine failure during the landing.

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Sindh health officials have said that so far, 60 people have been confirmed dead.

Rescue operation is underway.

16:43 GMT 22.05.2020

Speaking to Geo News, the Sindh information minister said that rescue efforts were still underway. He said the administration had provided generators to help officials continue rescue efforts at night.

Karachi commissioner has shared contact information for bereaved families. 

16:32 GMT 22.05.2020

Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator for the Sindh health minister, confirmed to Dawn.com that two passengers had survived and were brought to hospitals. She identified the survivors as Mohammad Zubair and Zafar Masood, who is the president of Bank of Punjab.

"Zubair has 35 per cent burns and is being treated at the [Dr Ruth Pfau] Civil Hospital Karachi, while Masood has four fractures and is being treated at the Darul Sehat Hospital," said Yousuf, adding that both were in stable condition.

A third person, who had earlier been identified as a survivor from the plane, was later identified to be a resident of the area where the plane crashed.

Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Executive Director Seemin Jamali said that 35 bodies have so far been brought to the hospital, of which five have been identified and handed over to their relatives.

Among them, is captain Sajjad Gul, who was piloting the ill-fated plane.

Sindh health officials have said that so far 57 people have been confirmed dead.

16:03 GMT 22.05.2020

NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - At least 90 people died in the crash of a Pakistani International Airlines plane near the airport in Karachi, the Bol news broadcaster reported on Friday, citing Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

The broadcaster also said that five houses and several cars had been destroyed as a result of the crash.

According to a representative of Pakistan's civil aviation authority, there were 91 passengers on board the plane which crashed near Karachi airport. It also reported that there were 7 crew members on board.

Meanwhile, at least 40 dead bodies have been recovered after the plane crash, according to AFP. 

15:57 GMT 22.05.2020

MOSCOW, May 22 (Sputnik) - There are no Russians among the victims of the plane crash in Pakistan's Karachi, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

"According to available information, about 100 people on board were killed. Currently, the number of victims among the residents of the houses on which the plane crashed is currently estimated. According to reports, there are no Russian citizens among the victims," ​​the ministry said.

"We express our sympathy and support to the families of the victims, we wish a speedy recovery to all those injured," it said.

15:51 GMT 22.05.2020

Sarfraz Ahmed — a firefighter at the crash site — told AFP the nose of the Airbus A320 and the fuselage had been heavily damaged by the impact, adding that rescuers had pulled four bodies from the wrecked aircraft, including some who were still wearing seat belts.

Earlier it was reported that one of the wounded brought to the hospital was badly burned and has been shifted to the burns ward.

The injured are said to be residents of the area where the crash took place.

15:11 GMT 22.05.2020

Sindh health department said that so far, 37 people have been confirmed dead.

It is, however, unclear if the deceased were all on board the flight or also include residents of the area where the crash took place. 

According to the Sindh health department spokesperson Meeran Yousuf, 19 bodies have been taken to the Jinnah my Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), whereas 15 bodies were taken to Civil Hospital.

"We have three survivors so far," she said.

The figure includes the BOP chief executive.

14:49 GMT 22.05.2020

MOSCOW, May 22 (Sputnik) - Turkey, Iran, India and Afghanistan sent their condolences to Pakistan on Friday after a passenger plane crashed on landing near the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted he was "deeply saddened by the deadly crash in brotherly Pakistan."

"May Allah's mercy be upon those who lost their lives in the crash. Condolences to our Pakistani brothers [and] sisters. Friendly [and] brotherly Pakistan’s pain is our pain," he wrote.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered his condolences to the people and the government of Pakistan, saying Afghans stood with them in this moment of grief.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Telegram that its spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, mourned the loss of dozens of lives in the air disaster.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the tragedy. He offered condolences to the families of the deceased and wished speedy recovery to those injured.

The Airbus A320 crashed into a crowded neighborhood near Jinnah International Airport during a domestic flight from Lahore. The Pakistani civil aviation agency told Sputnik there were 91 passengers on board. Several people have reportedly survived.

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Pakistan Airlines Pilots' Association spokesperson Tariq Yahya, while speaking on Geo News, said:

"Communications show that the plane did not have power at the end and was gliding and couldn't make it to the runway."

He said that it didn't have power when it was asked to climb to 3,000 feet.

He said these are "only are assumptions and we will not know the exact cause until we find the black box."

Yahya said pilots are handed a "technical log book" which is filled out by engineers and is a declaration that the plane is safe to fly. The pilot then independently reviews all the various flight functions on board the plane.

The spokesperson also remarked that there is a "very poor safety culture in place when it comes to the civil aviation authority as well as the PIA safety department" — an issue raised by PALPA as well, and which has only deteriorated over time.

He said that the construction of tall buildings near an airport is a violation of Civil Aviation Authority rules.

An Army Urban Search and Rescue Team has been dispatched via a C-130 military plane from Rawalpindi.

According to Geo News, families located at the crash site are being vacated from the area.

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Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Shibli Faraz said it is a tragic and sad incident before Eid and all prays of Prime Minister Iman Khan and his government are with the passengers, crew members, and their families. He said whereabouts of passengers are being collected, which will be shared, after compilation, with the media.

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The pilot sent a Mayday and told controllers the aircraft had lost power in both of its engines during its second attempt to land, according to a recording posted on LiveATC.net.

While the two runways were cleared, the pilot said, "We are returning back, sir, we have lost engines."

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Pakistan's Health Minister Azra Pechuho, at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, said that it was still to early to ascertain the number of people who were injured in the crash landing of an Airbus A321 passenger jet near Karachi.

"Eleven dead bodies have been brought to the hospital and six injured. Out of the injured, four are stable and two are burns cases."

She said officials are currently in the process of identifying the deceased in order to inform their families.

"We don't know how many are injured and how many are dead. I am visiting hospitals, we were already in an emergency situation due to COVID-19 so doctors were on alert. We have also alerted surgical units," she said.

12:51 GMT 22.05.2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin extended on Friday condolences to Pakistani President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan in connection with the passenger plane crash in the city of Karachi.

"Russia shares the grief of those who have lost their relatives and friends in this catastrophe and hopes for quick recovery of all the injured persons," Putin wrote in his letter to the Pakistani officials, released on the Kremlin website.

12:50 GMT 22.05.2020

"We’re carrying out DNA tests to be able to identify the bodies. We have declared an emergency in all the local hospitals. It’ll take time to evacuate everyone. We can’t give the final death toll yet," Sindh health minister Azra Pechuho said.

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"The concern now is of casualties among people in the area. Rangers and rescue services have been sent, we are trying to save as many lives as possible," Sindh province governor Imran Ismail said.

12:05 GMT 22.05.2020

Masood's family has confirmed to the outlet Dawn that he has survived the crash.

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According to Geo News citing rescue sources, 15-20 people have been rescued from under the rubble of the crash site. Eight people were injured and taken to a hospital for medical treatment. The body of a 5-year-old and another person were recovered from the site.

PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik has told Geo News that the pilot, in his final words, had said that there was a technical fault with the aircraft.

"The pilot was told that both runways were ready for him to land. However, the pilot decided to do a go-around. Why did he do that, due to what technical reason, that we will find out," he said. The Air Marshal is on his way to Karachi.

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Airbus is aware of the crash of its passenger aircraft in Pakistan but has no further details, a company spokesman said.

"We are aware of the reports about an accident involving a passenger aircraft in Pakistan. At this time we have no further details," the representative of the company said.

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There were 51 men, 31 women and nine children on aboard the PK-8303 flight, according to the PIA passenger list.

10:41 GMT 22.05.2020

"The plane PK 8303 with 99 passengers and 8 crew members has crashed," said a spokesman for the national carrier.

10:40 GMT 22.05.2020

The Minister of Health and Population Welfare has declared an emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi due to the plane crash, according to the Dawn.

In 2019, a PIA aircraft escaped a similar accident after it skidded off the runway while landing at Gilgit airport with no casualties. In December 2016, all 48 passengers and crew died after PIA flight PK-661 crashed en route to Islamabad from Chitral.

10:30 GMT 22.05.2020

A representative of the Pakistani International Airlines confirmed the crash of a passenger airplane, but did not provide other details.

"We do have news that the airplane has crashed, but right now we don't have other update of how much casualties and other things," the representative of the company said.

10:26 GMT 22.05.2020
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