Karachi: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with over 100 people onboard crashed in a residential area in Karachi near the city’s Jinnah International Airport on Friday, a spokesman for the flag carrier said, but did not confirm any casualties.
“The plane PK 8303 with 99 passengers and eight crew members has crashed,” The Express tribune quoted the spokesman as saying.
The crash took place in the city’s densely populated Model Colony area.
PIA spokesperson Abdul Sattar confirmed the crash and added that the A320 Airbus was flying from Lahore to Karachi.
Footage showed plumes of smoke rising from the site of the crash.
A witness told Dawn news that the plane was on fire in the air before crashing.
A PIA official, speaking to a private TV channel, said the aircraft lost communication with the ground staff at 2.37 p.m. and crashed around a minute before landing.
Another official told The Express Tribune that the plane was leased from China and was around 10 to 12 years old.
Reportedly both engines failed, added the official.
A statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Pakistan Army Aviation helicopters have arrived on the spot for rescue efforts and damage assessment while Urban Search and Rescue teams are also on the ground.
Confirming the incident, a senior official of the Civil Aviation Authority said the rescue operation was underway.
“It is too early to say anything. We are collecting details of passengers,” The Express Tribune quoted the official as saying.
SAPM on Information and broadcasting Asim Saleem Bajwa said that on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directions, all emergency services and resources have been mobilized and evacuation is in progress.
Civil aviation officials have said at least two people have survived the crash, reports Sky News.