A Pakistan International Airlines flight reportedly carrying 107 passengers on board crashed near the residential area of Karachi airport on Friday, Reuters reported, citing the airline spokesperson. Several people are feared dead.
The flight, an Airbus A320, was on its way from Lahore to Karachi, according to Dawn. The plane crashed near Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, less than a minute before landing.
“We are trying to confirm the number of passengers but initially it is 99 passengers and eight crew members,” Abdul Sattar Khokhar, the spokesperson for the country’s aviation authority told AFP.
Saad Edhi, spokesperson of the not-for-profit Edhi Foundation, said the group has shifted 35 bodies from the site of the crash to different hospitals, Dawn reported. Around 25 to 30 wounded persons have also been taken to hospitals, he added. However, Edhi refused to provide any concrete figures for the number of deceased and injured.
Sindh Province Health Minister Azra Pechuho said that it was still too early to be sure about how many people were wounded. She said 11 bodies had been brought to hospital. Only six wounded persons were taken to a medical facility, she added.
Visuals of the incident showed black smoke billowing in the sky as ambulances tried to make their way to the scene. Reports also said several houses were damaged in the incident.
A statement by Inter-Services Public Relations said Army Quick Reaction Force and Pakistan Rangers are at the crash site to provide assistance in rescue and relief operations.
The incident occured days after the Pakistan government allowed commercial flights to resume operations. The planes were grounded due to the lockdown to tackle the coronavirus spread.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the incident. “Deeply saddened by the loss of life due to a plane crash in Pakistan,” he tweeted. “Our condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishing speedy recovery to those injured.”