Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed 97 people died, and two survived, when an A320 crashed into a crowded residential district in Karachi on Friday after twice trying to land at the airport.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303 was flying from Lahore to Karachi when it went down around 09:45 GMT on Friday. At least two male passengers of flight PK-8303 from the eastern city of Lahore survived the crash on Friday, a health ministry spokesperson said.
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One of the survivors, Mohammad Zubair, 24, has recounted his memories of the crash to the media.
“After it hit and I regained consciousness, I saw fire everywhere and no one was visible,” Zubair said from his hospital bed in a video clip circulated on social media.
“The cries were everywhere and everybody was trying to survive. I undid my seat belt and I saw some light and tried to walk towards it. Then I jumped out.”
Zubair suffered burns but was in a stable condition, a health ministry official said. The airline named the other survivor as the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud.
Miraculously, it appears that no one was killed on the ground from the crash despite it crashing into a crowded residential neighbourhood. However, there are people from the crash site on the ground currently being treated in hospital for a range of injuries.
“Our plane [an Airbus] A320 which was coming from Lahore to Karachi was on final approach,” said PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik in a video message released after the crash.
“The last words we heard from our pilot were that there is a technical problem and he was told on final approach that he has both runways available to him to land on. But the pilot decided that he wanted to go around.”
The plane then rapidly lost altitude and crashed short of the runway into the Model Colony neighbourhood, witnesses told the local media.
Dense plumes of black smoke rose above houses in the narrow streets, with television footage showing several houses crushed from the impact of the aircraft.
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Parts of the plane, including the emergency exit door, were seen strewn in the streets.
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Officials have confirmed that the black box recorder has been located in the first steps to uncovering the cause of the crash.
“The black box had been found late yesterday, we are handing it over to the inquiry board,” PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan said on Saturday, clarifying both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were located.