A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with around 107 passengers and crew onboard crashed on Friday in a densely-populated residential area just outside the Karachi Airport with many feared dead. Flight PK-8303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, just a minute before its landing.
The preliminary report suggested that the landing gear failed on approach to the runway due to technical error. The pilot attempted a belly landing, and in the process, the engine got scrapped at least three times and pilot couldn't land the plane. He attempted another belly landing, during which the engine failed and plane crashed.
It is been learned now that the AP-BLD is a 15-year-old Airbus A320-200, leased from GECAS by PIA since October 2014. As per Simply Flying the plane was previously operated by China Eastern Airlines for 10 years, since its manufacture in 2004.
By Friday evening, the bodies of 41 people had been recovered, said the airline's chief executive Arshad Mahmood Malik in a press conference, adding the full clearance operation could last two to three days. He said only one survivor had been confirmed from the wreckage -- the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud.
However, provincial officials reported at least two survivors, and said at least 60 dead bodies had been recovered.
Faisal Edhi, who heads the charitable Edhi foundation that was assisting rescuers, said 45 bodies have been recovered so far. "Our rescue workers have taken out 45 bodies from the remains of the aircraft," he said.
Edhi said around 25 to 30 residents whose houses were damaged by the plane have also been taken to the hospital, mostly with burn wounds. The aircraft wings during the crash landing hit the houses in the residential colony before crashing down.
"At least 25 houses have been damaged in this incident," Edhi said.
Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho said 19 bodies have been shifted from the crash site to Jinnah hospital and another 20 to Civil hospital. Scores of injured were also rushed to hospitals.
"The first priority is to rescue the people. The main hurdle is narrow streets and presence of ordinary people who gathered at the place after the crash but they have been dispersed," said Pechuho.