PWith 98 people and 7 crew members, Pakistan International Airline (PK8303) that flew from Lahore for Karachi, crash-landed into a residential area near the Jinnah International Airport, Model Colony Karachi on Friday at 2:45 pm.
The plane crashed just minutes before landing. Sources say that it was just short of the runaway perimeters when it struck houses in the Model Colony residential area.
This flight, an Airbus (A320) carried passengers who were mostly travelling from Lahore to Karachi for the Eid festival. But fate had something else planned for them.
Purported last-minute conversation audio released by Duniya News, Pakistan reveals so much more. The Pilot, Sajjad Gul who is now amongst the deceased is heard saying first “lost engines”. To which when an air traffic controller asks whether it is going to carry out a “belly landing” the reply was “mayday, mayday, mayday” stating that the plane lost both its engines, the last minute and then crashed.
The actual cause of this last-minute crash still remains un-revealed and the investigators are working on retrieving the black box recorders to determine what went wrong.
Arshad Malik, PIA Chief Executive Air Vice Marshal said, “The pilot had informed about the technical difficulties the last moment before the crash. The actual cause will be known soon after the intense investigation that may take two or three days.”
The aviation safety experts informed media that the incident is an extremely tragic one and the cause not just one, but multiple.
Till now only two passengers have said to survive and are in the hospitals receiving treatments.
“All I could see around was smoke and fire and people screaming from all directions. I couldn’t see anyone but their screams.” Said Muhammad Zubair, one of the two survivors of the PIA plane crash. He has succumbed injuries but is conscious and is admitted in Civil Hospital, Karachi.
Another is Zafar Masood, president of Bank of Punjab. He has suffered fractures but conscious and responding well to the treatment.
Both the survivors to the Pakistani media revealed that the plane was heading towards the destination smoothly and nobody was aware of the silent turbulences.
“The aeroplane first hit the mobile tower and then crashed over houses.” Said an eye witness, a resident of Model Colony, where the plane crashed.
Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator for Sindh health minister said in an interview with Duniya News, Pakistan “Majority of the injured were women and the time that the plane had crash-landed was the time of Friday prayer but with God’s grace the residents of the colony where the plane crashed are all safe with minor injuries.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter to pay his condolences to the deceased and the families. “Shocked and saddened by the PIA crash. I am in touch with the PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi with his rescue and relief team on grounds as this is the priority right now the immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers and condolences go to families of the deceased.” He Tweeted.