Islamabad, Pakistan – At least 54 folks have been killed, with extra feared useless, 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 spokesperson instructed Al Jazeera.
Reports on the variety of folks on board the plane on the time of the crash different between 91 and 99.
Fifty-four folks have died, well being ministry spokeswoman Meeran Yousuf instructed Al Jazeera by phone. “We have only been able to identify three of the bodies so far, due to the extreme burns,” she added.
At least six 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 mentioned.
— 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 in need of the runway into the Model Colony neighbourhood, witnesses instructed the native media.
Dense plumes of black smoke rose above homes within the slender streets of the neighbourhood, with tv footage displaying a number of homes crushed from the impression 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 the entire metropolis’s hospitals, already reeling from a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus, provincial well being minister Azra Pechucho instructed 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 as a result of coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed greater than 1,067 lives within the South Asian nation, in keeping with the federal government knowledge.
The Airbus A320, operated by Pakistan’s nationwide flag service, was resulting from 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 latest air crash, when all 47 folks 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 folks 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 a right away 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