Islamabad, Pakistan – At least 97 individuals have been killed after an Airbus A320 passenger airliner crashed right into a residential neighbourhood whereas on approach to the airport within the southern Pakistani metropolis of Karachi, officers say.
At least two male passengers of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303 from the japanese metropolis of Lahore to Karachi survived the crash on Friday, a well being ministry spokeswoman advised Al Jazeera.
Health officers mentioned 97 passengers and crew members have died. Health ministry spokeswoman Meeran Yousuf advised Al Jazeera by phone that 66 our bodies have been saved at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi’s largest authorities hospital and 31 at Civil Hospital Karachi, one other main state-run hospital.
Yousuf mentioned the 2 survivors have been being handled on the hospitals in Karachi, whereas 19 our bodies have been recognized to date.
Several individuals who have been on the bottom when the airliner crashed into homes within the densely populated Model Colony space of Karachi, adjoining to the town’s worldwide airport, have been being handled for his or her accidents, she added.
— ZaynArshad (@Zayyn007) May 22, 2020
“Our plane [an Airbus] A320 which was coming from Lahore to Karachi was on final approach,” mentioned PIA chief Arshad Malik in a video message launched after the crash.
“The last words we heard from our pilot were that there is a technical problem and he was told on final approach that he has both runways available to him to land on. But the pilot decided that he wanted to go around.”
The airplane then quickly misplaced altitude and crashed wanting the runway into the Model Colony neighbourhood, witnesses advised the native media.
Dense plumes of black smoke rose above homes within the slim streets of the neighbourhood, with tv footage exhibiting a number of homes crushed from the affect of the plane.
Parts of the airplane, together with the emergency exit door, have been seen strewn within the streets.
Pakistan’s navy mentioned it had deployed helicopters to evaluate the injury and assist ferry the useless and wounded to the hospitals.
An emergency was declared in all the metropolis’s hospitals, already reeling from a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus, provincial well being minister Azra Pechucho advised reporters.
“We are doing DNA testing of the dead bodies so that they can be identified and they can be given to their families,” she mentioned.
“We were already in an emergency situation due to COVID, we were already alert … and now we have put the surgical units on alert as well.”
‘Shocked and saddened’
Pakistan resumed restricted home flight operations final week, after a prolonged suspension because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed greater than 1,067 individuals within the South Asian nation, based on the federal government knowledge.
The Airbus A320, operated by Pakistan’s nationwide flag provider, was attributable to land in Karachi at 2:45pm native time (09:45 GMT) after an hour and a half within the air after departing Lahore earlier within the day.
In 2016, Pakistan suffered its deadliest current air crash, when all 47 individuals on board a PIA Embraeur ATR plane have been killed when it crashed right into a mountain en route from the northern city of Chitral to the capital Islamabad.
In 2010, the nation noticed its worst air catastrophe, with all 152 individuals on board an Air Blue passenger flight killed when the airplane crashed into the hills simply north of the capital Islamabad.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an instantaneous inquiry into Friday’s crash.
Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in contact with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & reduction groups on floor as that is the precedence proper now. Immediate inquiry shall be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to households of the deceased.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 22, 2020
Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim