Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303 on Friday crashed in a residential area near Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport a few moments before landing.
“The plane PK 8303 with 99 passengers and 8 crew members has crashed,” said Abdullah Hafeez, a spokesman for the national carrier. The rescue operation in the area is in progress.
To speed up relief and rescue efforts, the Army Urban Search and Rescue Team with special equipment and rescue specialist flown from Rawalpindi through a special C130 flight, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
Ten fire tenders employed at incident site and have extinguished the fire , it added. “Military ambulances are busy in rescuing injured and providing necessary medical care.”
The pilot sent a Mayday and told controllers the aircraft had lost power from both its engines
After the aircraft reportedly called off an earlier attempt to land and went around for a second attempt, a controller radioed the pilot of flight 8303 that he appeared to be turning left, suggesting he was off-course.
The pilot replied, “We are returning back, sir, we have lost engines,” and the controller cleared the plane to land on either of Karachi airport’s two West-Southwest-facing runways.
Tariq Yahya, a veteran pilot and spokesperson for Pakistan Airline Pilots Association, said that what actually caused the crash “will only be determined after the black boxes are opened”.