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Pakistan

Web Desk
May 22, 2020
Live

PIA passenger plane crashes in Karachi's Model Colony

Pakistan

Web Desk
Fri, May 22, 2020

KARACHI: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight, on its way from Lahore to Karachi, crashed in the vicinity of Jinnah International Airport on Friday.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, the flight from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed in the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir.

Ninety-nine people were aboard the plane, including 85 passengers, of which two passengers have miraculously survived the incident.

According to the Sindh health department, 92 people have died as a result of the crash. It is not yet known how many of the deceased were passengers and how many were residents of the area where the crash took place.

Govt response

Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised an "immediate inquiry" into the matter and said that he is in touch with PIA chief executive Arshad Malik. He said rescue and relief efforts are the "priority right now".

Following the premier's remarks, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan ordered an immediate inquiry into the plane crash.

According to APP, the minister ordered the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board to carry out investigations.

Meanwhile, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail said that he has called the PIA chairman and instructed him "to provide shelters to people" whose houses were damaged.

"PIA will take full responsibility and provide hotel immediately to them," he said.

Ismail said that the premier has asked PIA "to take care of affectees without any delay".

Miraculous survival

Bank of Punjab (BOP) chief executive Zafar Masud has miraculously survived the incident and is one of two surviving passengers confirmed so far.

Masud has been taken to the hospital, where his brother is with him. He is said to be stable. He was visited by Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah.

Another passenger was identified as Mohammad Zubair, who was paid a visit by Sindh education minister Saeed Ghani.

Casualties

At least 60 bodies were received at the JPMC and 32 others at the Civil Hospital. Of them, 19 bodies have been identified so far. Five bodies are still unaccounted for.

According to Sindh health department spokesperson Meeran Yousuf, 85 people have so far been confirmed dead, as a result of the crash.

Yousuf told Geo.tv that the two survivors are being treated at Civil Hospital and Darul Sehat Hospital.

She said that the deceased are being identified through DNA extraction.

Earlier, in a conversation with Geo News, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Executive Director Seemin Jamali said that five bodies have been identified and handed over to their heirs.

Among them, is captain Sajjad Gul, who was piloting the ill-fated plane.

According to JPMC officials, one of the wounded brought to the hospital is badly burned and has been shifted to the burns ward.

The injured are said to be residents of the area where the crash took place.

Rescue efforts

Troops from the Pakistan Army's Quick Reaction Force and Pakistan Rangers Sindh arrived at the crash site shortly after to assist the civil administration in relief and rescue efforts.

Additionally, an Army Urban Search and Rescue Team has been dispatched via a C-130 military plane from Rawalpindi.

According to ISPR, 10 army fire tenders are taking part in the rescue efforts as well as multiple military ambulances.

Several houses were damaged in the area where the plane crashed. According to Geo News, families located at the crash site are being vacated from the area.

Ambulances were faced with difficulty as the streets were quite narrow and the huge presence of people made it difficult for relief operations to continue. Rescue officials have requested spotlights to continue work seamlessly at night.

Rescue sources said that several people have been helped out from under the rubble and shifted to a hospital for medical treatment. "Due to the rush, we are encountering difficulties in carrying out relief operations," said SSP Malir. "People should avoid gathering at the accident site," he added.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa extended condolences over the loss of lives and directed the provision of full assistance to the civil administration in rescue and relief efforts.

Senior journalist among those on board the ill-fated plane

Senior journalist Ansar Naqvi, who used to work for The News and was currently working for Channel 24 as its Director Programming, was on board the plane.

The PIA has released a passenger list, according to which 51 men, 31 women and nine children were aboard the PK-8303 flight.