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PIA plane crashes in Karachi’s Model Colony, 97 killed

SAMAA | , , and - Posted: May 23, 2020 | Last Updated: 6 days ago
Posted: May 23, 2020 | Last Updated: 6 days ago
Black box recovered, inquiry committee formed

A PIA plane crashed in Karachi’s Model Colony Friday afternoon. It was traveling from Lahore to Karachi.

There were a total of 99 people on board. Two passengers survived the incident. One of them was Bank of Punjab President Zafar Mehmood.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah inquired after Mehmood at a private hospital, where he was taken soon after the crash. The Bank of Punjab president was said to be in a stable condition.

A fire had broken out with the crash. Tankers were sent by the water board and ambulances arrived at the spot soon afterwards.

So far 97 bodies have been brought to JPMC and Civil hospitals, according to the Sindh health department.

As of 10pm on Saturday, 23 bodies had been identified, out of which 19 have been handed over to the families.

JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali had earlier told SAMAA TV that they had identified five bodies. DNA samples of the rest were being collected and it would take 24 to 48 hours to identify them, she added.

Below are the helpline numbers for any information relating to the crash:

PIA Emergency Response Unit Helpline
02199242284
02199043766
02199043833

Lahore helpline
042990312153
042990312126

Karachi helpline
02199072384
02199072385

How did the plane crash?

The A-320 aircraft was about to land at the Karachi airport. At 2:34pm the plane was at a height of 275ft when it decided to land. But then it went up again. At 2:40pm, when the height was 525ft, the connection with the plane was lost.

The PIA CEO said the pilot's last message was that there was a technical fault. He was told that the two runways were ready but wanted to turn around. CEO Arshad Malik was on the way to Karachi and will visit the crash site.

Aviation expert Zafar Iqbal said: It's suspected that there was structural damage to the plane. It might have been a bird or something else.

The plane hit six houses, causing their roofs to collapse. According to the Aviation Division, the pilot had given an emergency signal to the airport.

An emergency was declared at the airport as charred bodies were being retrieved from the aircraft, according to SAMAA TV reporter Khursheed Alam, who was present on the spot.

The police and Rangers were trying to move people away so they could rescue people. Army Quick Reaction Force had also reached the crash site.

Black box of the plane recovered

The black box of the PIA plane has been found, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. It would be sent to the manufacturer for decoding. The process could take weeks.

PIA officials address the media

"Our teams are in Civil Hospital and JPMC," PIA CEO Arshad Malik said. "We will keep the track of every martyr and will talk to their heirs by tonight."

Malik said an inquiry will be conducted and compensation will be given to families as per the rules.

The Karachi commissioner was instructed to start relief activities in the area, according to Sindh government spokesman Murtaza Wahab. He requested residents of the area to let the officials do their job.

A senior journalist was believed to have been among the passengers. PTI leader Amir Liaquat reached the site for help.

Adjoining houses were vacated, streets cordoned off and nobody was allowed to enter.

PM Imran Khan expresses grief

Expressing grief over the incident, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was in touch with the PIA CEO and rescue teams on the ground.

"Immediate inquiry will be instituted," he said, extending condolences to families of the deceased.

Compensation to victims' families

Families of the PIA plane crash victims will be given financial compensation, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah announced.

"Prime Minister Imran Khan will not leave them alone in this difficult time," Shah said.

Flight operations restored at Karachi airport

Flight operations at Karachi airport have been restored. Rescue people say it will take 24 to 48 hours to complete the operation.

Canadian PM Trudeau expresses sorrow over 'devastating' PIA plane crash

"The news from Pakistan this morning is devastating," Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said on Twitter.

"To the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the crash of PK 8303, and to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, our hearts go out to you."

Compensation announced

Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar has announced that compensation of Rs1 million will be given to the families of the crash victims.

Rs500,000 will be given to people injured in the accident, he added. We are trying to get a Rs5 million insurance claim as well, he said on Saturday.

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