May 22, 2020 - 16:24 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - There are fears of mass casualties after a passenger aircraft carrying 99 people crashed into a residential area in the Pakistani city of Karachi, The Guardian reports.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) jet, carrying 91 passengers and eight crew members, was on its final approach to Karachi airport when it went down in a residential area near Model Colony and disappeared from radar.
Bank of Punjab president Zafar Masood was among the passengers. There are early reports of some survivors.
A PIA spokesperson, Abdullah Hafeez, confirmed the crash, and added: “Saying anything right now would be premature. Our crew is trained to handle emergency landings. All my prayers are with the families. We will continue to provide information in a transparent manner.”
The pilot reportedly called in describing a technical fault minutes before the plane, an Airbus A320, crashed. The pilot had been informed by air traffic control that both runways were available but he had then turned the direction of the plane.
In a statement, PIA CEO Arshad Malik said he was going onto the site of the crash and would further investigate the technical issue reported by the pilot.
Flight PK8303 was on a domestic journey from Lahore and was minutes from Jinnah International airport when it crashed at about 2.45pm local time (1045 BST). Video footage from the scene shows billowing black smoke and people running screaming from the scene. Local media reported that around five houses had caught fire.