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Pakistan plane with 107 on board crashes into houses upon landing

Qamar Zaman and Zia Khan, DPA on

Published in News & Features

ISLAMABAD -- An Airbus A320 plane with 107 passengers and crew on board crashed into a residential area of Pakistan's southern city of Karachi on Friday, the country's civil agency said, killing an unknown number of people.

The plane operated by Pakistan International Airline (PIA) crashed moment before landing, said Abdul Sattar Khokhar, a spokesman for the aviation authority.

The crash occurred during the last minute of the flight as the plane was about to land at the Jinnah International Airport, he added.

Deaths have been reported but the specific number of casualties was unknown, according to both the airline and Civil Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar.

Flight PK8303 took off from the eastern city of Lahore around 1 pm (0800 GMT) and crashed at 2:35 pm.

It slammed into the Model Colony neighborhood some 2 kilometres from the runway, Khokhar said.

 

The military and civil agencies were undertaking the rescue operation and searching through the rubble of houses, an army statement said.

At least 15 people who were wounded in the damaged houses were taken to Karachi's Jinnah Hospital, where a state of emergency was declared, doctor Seemi Jamali said.

The rescue operation was moving ahead slowly because heavy machinery could not move into the narrow streets, broadcaster Dunya television reported.

The pilot was asked to land by the control tower but he relayed a message that the plane had in a technical problem, PIA chief Arshad Malik said.

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