PIA crash Karachi: Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Pakistan had only last week decided to resume commercial flights on a limited scale.
PIA crash Karachi: Several people were feared dead after a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crashed into a densely populated residential area near Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport on Friday. Initially, there were conflicting reports from Pakistani media and officials regarding the number of passengers on-board the aircraft, but PTI quoted PIA officers as saying that there were 107 people in total on board — 99 passengers and eight crew members.
Here’s what we know so far about the Karachi PIA flight crash, and the possible reasons behind it:
- The PIA PK-8303 flight flying on the Lahore-Karachi route crashed about a minute before landing at the Karachi airport.
- The locality where the PIA aircraft crashed has been identified as Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir.
- The plane that was being commandeered by Captain Sajjad Gul lost contact with the airport at 2.37 PM (local time).
- As per officials of Pakistan’s state airline, the captain of the fateful flight had informed the air traffic control that he was having problems with the landing gear before the aircraft disappeared from the radar.
- PIA Chairman Arshad Malik said that when the pilot told the control tower about having a technical problem he was informed that two airports were available for landing, but the flight crashed soon after.
- Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar was reported as saying that the landing gear of the aircraft was not working.
- An onlooker told news channels that a wing of the aircraft was on fire when it hit rooftops of some houses before crash landing.
- Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho was quoted by PTI as saying that the narrow streets and the presence of ordinary people who gathered at the place after the crash hampered the rescue efforts.
- This is the first major aircraft crash in Pakistan since December 7, 2016 when a PIA ATR-42 aircraft from Chitral to Islamabad crashed midway. Forty-eight passengers and crew, including singer-cum-evangelist Junaid Jamshed, had lost their lives in that crash.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Pakistan had only last week decided to resume commercial flights on a limited scale.