An Airbus A320 of the national company Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), with a hundred people on board, crashed, Friday, May 22, on a residential district of Karachi, in the south of Pakistan, the company raising a problem technical.
“There were 91 passengers and seven crew members” on board flight PK8303 between Lahore and Karachi, “which lost contact with air traffic control at 2:37 pm” (11:37 am Paris time), said PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez to local media.
According to company CEO Arshad Malik, the aircraft, an Airbus A320, was “on final approach” when an incident occurred. “The last time we heard from the pilot, he indicated that he had a technical problem ,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.
“He was told (…) that two runways were ready for the landing, but he decided to go around. Why ? It remains to be determined what the technical problem was. “
According to the Minister of the Interior, Ijaz Ahmad Shah, the pilot said he had “lost an engine” and then made “a distress call” . According to the specialized site FlightRadar24.com, the Airbus A320 had been in service for fifteen years. The automaker said it was aware of the accident and was awaiting further details.
An “immediate investigation”
At least 80 bodies have so far been recovered. Once the fire was out, rescue teams helped by local residents were looking for possible survivors during the night, while a crane lifted the carcass of the aircraft. A statement from health services in Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, said that two survivors had been found and at least 17 bodies identified.
The search will continue “until all the bodies are recovered,” an Agence France Presse official told the Agence France Presse, who asked to remain anonymous. “So far, we have recovered 80 bodies from the rubble. “
Earlier, images broadcast by the Geo television station showed ambulances trying to make their way through the crowd gathered near the scene of the disaster, which appears to be a densely populated area, above which s raises a column of black smoke. Several cars were also on fire.
The Pakistani army announced on Twitter that it had sent a rapid intervention force, along with paramilitary elements, to the scene of the accident to participate in relief operations.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in contact with PIA management, has promised an “immediate investigation” into the causes of the tragedy. ” Shocked and saddened” by the disaster, he addressed his “prayers and condolences to the families and the disappeared” .