Shafaqna Pakistan: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with 107 passengers and crew onboard crashed on Friday in a residential area of the city of Karachi, with many feared dead, officials said.
“The last we heard from the pilot was that he has some technical problem,” PIA spokesman Abdullah H. Khan said in a video statement.
“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 senior civil aviation official told Reuters it appeared the plane was unable to open its wheels due to a technical fault prior to landing, but it was to early to determine the cause.
“The areoplane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses,” witness Shakeel Ahmed told Reuters near the crash, just a few kilometres short of the airport.
The jet, which tracking website flightradar24.com identified as a 15-year-old Airbus A320, was flying from the eastern city of Lahore to Karachi in the south just as Pakistan was resuming domestic flights in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” tweeted Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.”