Pakistan International Airlines (PAI) flight PK 8303 from Lahore to Karachi crashed minutes before landing in a residential area just outside Jinnah International Airport. The flight was carrying 99 passengers and 8 crew when it came down on a residential are in Model Colony shortly before 3pm local time. Audio from the cockpit revealed the PAI pilot in charge launched a distress call minutes before the crash to warn airport controllers they had “lost our engines.”
The audio recorded the pilot saying: “We’re proceeding direct, we have lost engines.
“Mayday mayday mayday Pakistan 8303.”
Control tower at Jinnah International Airport can be heard telling the pilot one of the runaways had been made immediately available for landing.
After the pilot confirmed flight PK 8308 had lost its engines and launched the mayday call, control tower can be heard interrupting to confirm both runways had been cleared.
The Mayor of Karachi later confirmed there were no survivors from the plane as emergency services continue to look for casualties on the ground in Model City.
Early reports suggest the Pakistan International Airlines 320 Airbus crashed into several houses near the airport.
Local reporter Khurram Ansar wrote on Twitter: “PIA Plane Airbus 320 crash near Karachi Airport, hits 4 to 5 houses.”
PIA spokesman Abdullah H Khan said they had last made contact with the pilot when the crew reported a technical problem with the aircraft.
The Pakistan International Airlines crash comes days after Pakistan resumed air travel in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic peak.
All flights, including PAI’s, had been grounded since March 29 to limit the spread of the outbreak and had resumed services only on May 16.
The crash comes four years after another PIA jet burst into flames in mid-air while flying between northern Pakistan and Islamabad. A total of 47 people died in that crash.
In 2012, a Boeing 737-200 operated by Pakistan’s Bhoja Air crashed in bad weather on its descent to land in Rawalpindi, killing all 121 passengers and six crew.
Meanwhile a decade ago in 2010, Pakistan’s deadliest air disaster took place, when an aeroplane operated by private airline Airblue crashed near Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board.