Pakistani jet crashes in Karachi, many feared dead

May 22, 2020

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A Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 jet crashed just before landing in Karachi on Friday, with about 100 people onboard.

According to officials, Flight PK8303 was en route from Lahore to Karachi when it crashed into a residential neighbourhood at 2:37 p.m. While many are assumed dead, it still is unclear how many onboard or on the ground perished. An A320 in Pakistan International’s typical seat configuration holds 174 passengers.

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The flight was operated by a 15-year old Airbus A320, according to FlightRadar24. The jet was delivered to PIA in 2014 after initially serving in China Eastern’s fleet.

Abdullah H. Khan, a spokesman for the airlines, said in a video statement reviewed by Reuters that the pilots reported a technical problem prior to the crash.

The New York Times reported that many passengers aboard the jet were likely travelling home to celebrate the end of Ramadan, which concludes this weekend. Pakistani aviation had been grounded in an effort to control the country’s COVID-19 pandemic, but domestic flights recently resumed.

Civilian and military officials in Pakistan said rescue efforts were underway, and television news reports showed harrowing scenes from the neighbourhood around the crash site.

This is a developing story and will be updated as details become available. 

Featured photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images.

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