Pakistan plane crashes, 107 killed

KARACHI, PAKISTAN (AP) — A passenger plane belonging to state-run Pakistan International Airlines crashed near the southern port city of Karachi yesterday, killing all 107 passengers and crew, the city’s mayor said.

The aircraft crashed into a crowded neighbourhood on the edge of the airport. Mayor Wasim Akhtar said at least five or six houses were destroyed in the crash. It wasn’t immediately known how many casualties were from among the residential area.

The aircraft arriving from the eastern city of Lahore was carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members, said Abdul Sattar Kokhar, spokesman for the country’s civil aviation authority.

The civil aviation authority said the pilot called in a mayday saying that he had lost an engine. He was attempting to land when the plane crashed.

Witnesses said the Airbus A320 appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing in a residential area near Jinnah International Airport. The residential area on the edge of the airport known as Model Colony is a poor area and heavily congested.

A resident of the area, Abdul Rahman, said he saw the aircraft circle at least three times, appearing to try to land before it crashed into several houses.

Police and military cordoned off the area.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted: “Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.”

Fire brigade staff try to put out fire caused by the plane crash in Karachi, Pakistan. PHOTO: AP