A Pakistan airliner has crashed in a residential area of Karachi, with 107 people on board. Image by EPA PHOTO

air and space accident

Pakistan plane with 107 on board crashes

2020-05-22 23:03:26

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane carrying 99 passengers and eight crew has crashed into a residential area of Karachi.

At least one passenger survived the crash, a government official says.

The pilot of of the airliner sent a Mayday and told controllers the aircraft had lost power from both its engines on its second attempt to land, according to a recording posted on monitoring website liveatc.net.

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.

Twelve seconds later the pilot called “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” and was again cleared to use either runway. There was no further communication from the aircraft, reported to be an Airbus A320, according to the audio from liveatc.net, a respected source for in-flight recordings. 

Geo TV broadcaster showed crowds near the scene, which appeared to be a densely populated area, and ambulances trying to make their way through.

Black smoke billowed and several cars were on fire.

The Pakistani army said its quick reaction force and paramilitary troops had reached the site for relief and rescue efforts alongside civil administration bodies.