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Horror as Airbus A320 crashes into residential area of Karachi killing all 107 people aboard

UK News

Video footage has emerged showing the doomed Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 passenger plane carrying more than 100 people today as it crashed into a residential area of Karachi and killed everyone on board. 

Witnesses said the flight from Lahore had made three failed attempts to land at Jinnah International Airport before ploughing into the Model Colony area of the city on a fourth landing attempt.

The pilot also told air traffic control that he had lost one his engines and he made a final mayday call before the crash. The mayor of Karachi confirmed that all of 99 passengers and eight crew aboard the flight died in the crash.

Videos uploaded on social media purport to show the plane’s final moments as it hurls downwards at alarming speed amid the shrieks of terrified residents. Witnesses say the plane was so low they felt the walls of their houses tremble and saw the plane tilted on one side.

Plumes of billowing smoke smothered the skyline after the Pakistan International Airlines plane smashed into house among the poor and densely populated area of Model Colony that is two miles from the airport.

Footage reveal scenes of chaos with burning rubble and plane debris strewn across the area as hospitals ready themselves for a flurry of victims and the Pakistani Army desperately hunts for survivors. The Prime Minister has pledged to hold an ‘immediate inquiry’ into the crash.  

The Airbus had been flying from Lahor to Jinnah, which usually takes 90 minutes, before it went down in the Model Colony area as it began its final approach to land at Karachi airport. 

Emergency responders spray the wreckage of the Airbus A320 after it crashed into houses in the densely populated Model Colony area of Karchi

Emergency responders spray the wreckage of the Airbus A320 after it crashed into houses in the densely populated Model Colony area of Karchi

Emergency responders spray the wreckage of the Airbus A320 after it crashed into houses in the densely populated Model Colony area of Karchi

A wrecked door from the plane is seen in the residential area of Karachi Model Colony where the Airbus A320 crashed

A wrecked door from the plane is seen in the residential area of Karachi Model Colony where the Airbus A320 crashed

A wrecked door from the plane is seen in the residential area of Karachi Model Colony where the Airbus A320 crashed 

Photos of burning rubble were circulated online in the immediate aftermath of the crash

Photos of burning rubble were circulated online in the immediate aftermath of the crash

The Pakistani Army is pictured above rescuing a young child covered in ash

The Pakistani Army is pictured above rescuing a young child covered in ash

Photos of burning rubble were circulated online in the immediate aftermath of the crash (left) as the Pakistani army is pictured above right rescuing a young child covered in ash 

The battered remains of the plane's engine can be seen above mere moments after the crash

The battered remains of the plane's engine can be seen above mere moments after the crash

The battered remains of the plane’s engine can be seen above mere moments after the crash 

Fire brigade staff use jet hoses to put out the fire

Fire brigade staff use jet hoses to put out the fire

Fire brigade staff use jet hoses to put out the fire 

Shards of plane debris have smashed into the area

Shards of plane debris have smashed into the area

Plumes of smoke billow after the Pakistan International Airlines plane smashed into the residential area

Plumes of smoke billow after the Pakistan International Airlines plane smashed into the residential area

Plumes of smoke billow after the Pakistan International Airlines plane smashed into the residential area 

The plane had been flying from Lahor to Jinnah, which usually takes 90 minutes, before it went down in the Model Colony area as it began its final approach to land at Karachi airport

The plane had been flying from Lahor to Jinnah, which usually takes 90 minutes, before it went down in the Model Colony area as it began its final approach to land at Karachi airport

The plane had been flying from Lahor to Jinnah, which usually takes 90 minutes, before it went down in the Model Colony area as it began its final approach to land at Karachi airport 

The Airbus A320 operated by state airline Pakistan International had 99 passengers and eight crew were on board. An aircraft of the same model is pictured

The Airbus A320 operated by state airline Pakistan International had 99 passengers and eight crew were on board. An aircraft of the same model is pictured

The Airbus A320 operated by state airline Pakistan International had 99 passengers and eight crew were on board. An aircraft of the same model is pictured

A burning car in the aftermath of the crash sits among rubble

A burning car in the aftermath of the crash sits among rubble

Huge plumes of smoke were seen after the Pakistan International Airlines flight smashed into a residential area

Huge plumes of smoke were seen after the Pakistan International Airlines flight smashed into a residential area

A burning car in the aftermath of the crash sits among rubble (left) as plumes of smoke billow in the air (right) 

The crash comes just days after the country began allowing commercial flights to resume

The crash comes just days after the country began allowing commercial flights to resume

Distressed residents among the wreckage

Distressed residents among the wreckage

The crash comes just days after the country began allowing commercial flights to resume

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

The captain’s final conversation with air traffic control revealed the plane had ‘lost’ an engine before it was cleared to land on a runway as an emergency.

The pilot repeatedly cried ‘mayday’ as he was given permission to land on either runway just seconds before crash.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sources said the captain had reported a technical fault before the plane vanished from the radar.  

They told News One that communication with the plane was cut off one minute before it was scheduled to touch down.

Rescue workers and local residents pulled people from the debris as firefighters battled to put out the flames.

‘I heard a big bang and woke up to people calling for the fire brigade,’ said Karachi resident Mudassar Ali. 

Teenager Hassan said: I was coming from the mosque when I saw the plane tilting on one side. The engines’ sounds were quite weird. It was so low that the walls of my house were trembling.’

A PIA spokesman said: ‘The last we heard from the pilot was that he has some technical problem.

‘He was told from the final approach that both the runways were ready where he can land, but the pilot decided that he wanted to do (a) go-round… It is a very tragic incident.’

A low-flying plane believed to be the Airbbus was captured low over houses

A low-flying plane believed to be the Airbbus was captured low over houses

Video footage that has appeared online appears to show the moment of the fatal crash, with smoke bursting into the air on the right

Video footage that has appeared online appears to show the moment of the fatal crash, with smoke bursting into the air on the right

Video footage that has appeared online appears to show the low-flying plane low over houses (left)  moments before the fatal crash (right) as smoke bursts into the air

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted: ‘Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now.

‘Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.’

The crash comes as Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages.  

Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the crash. The flight typically takes an hour and a half from the northeastern city of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab, to Karachi. 

Airworthiness documents showed the plane last received a government check on Nov. 1, 2019. PIA’s chief engineer signed a separate certificate April 28 saying all maintenance had been conducted on the plane and that ‘the aicraft is fully airworthy and meets all the safety’ standards.

The jet has been indentified by tracking website flightradar24.com as a 15-year-old Airbus A320, 

A victim is taken away on a body board as medics scramble to find survivors

A victim is taken away on a body board as medics scramble to find survivors

A victim is taken away on a body board as medics scramble to find survivors 

Hospital staff prepare to receive the victims of the passenger plane crash

Hospital staff prepare to receive the victims of the passenger plane crash

Hospital staff prepare to receive the victims of the passenger plane crash

Ambulances arrive at the scene  ready to rush victims to hospital

Ambulances arrive at the scene  ready to rush victims to hospital

Ambulances arrive at the scene  ready to rush victims to hospital 

Police have also been spotted blasting water on the charred remains of the aircraft

Police have also been spotted blasting water on the charred remains of the aircraft

Police have also been spotted blasting water on the charred remains of the aircraft

Emergency authorities have been scrambled to the scene in a desperate attempt to find survivors injured in the crash

Emergency authorities have been scrambled to the scene in a desperate attempt to find survivors injured in the crash

Emergency authorities have been scrambled to the scene in a desperate attempt to find survivors injured in the crash 

A plume of smoke is seen in the aftermath of the crash

A plume of smoke is seen in the aftermath of the crash

A plume of smoke is seen in the aftermath of the crash 

Safety record of the Airbus A320 

There have been 119 aviation incidents and accidents across the Airbus A320 fleet. 

The narrow-body airliners are designed and produced by Airbus, and the first A320 was launched in 1987. 

The fleet’s first crash happened just a year later in 1988 after the captain of an Air France Flight 296 delayed applying full power as he climbed away, crashing into trees beyond the runway. 

Four further crashes happened in the 1990s, including in Bangalore, the Vosges mountains, Warsaw, and the Philippines. 

Nine incidents took place in the 2000s and a further 13 happened between 2011 and 2019. 

It is believed that 18 of the accidents have been fatal, including more than 1,400 deaths. 

A total of 47 hull loss incidents – when the plane is damaged beyond repair – have occurred among the fleet. 

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The Pakistan military tweeted that security forces had been deployed to the area and helicopters were being used to survey the damage and help ongoing rescue operations. 

The crash comes just days after the country began allowing commercial flights to resume.  

Pakistan has a chequered military and civilian aviation safety record, with frequent plane and helicopter crashes over the years.

In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while flying from the remote northern to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.

PIA, one of the world’s leading airlines until the 1970s, now suffers from a sinking reputation due to frequent cancellations, delays and financial troubles. It has been involved in numerous controversies over the years, including the jailing of a drunk pilot in Britain in 2013.

The crash comes as Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages.

DailyMail Online


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