Ever since the lockdown started, it reminded us of everything that we once took for granted.
It’s our family members and friends that are miles away from you that you would wish to celebrate joyous occasions with.
Similarly in Pakistan, Pakistanis across the country are preparing to travel back to their homes in cities and villages to reunite after two months in lockdown.
Pakistan had just resumed limited domestic flight operations last week, after a period of lockdown in their country.
This had granted the wishes of many Pakistanis who hoped to spend the end of Ramadan together with their loved ones.
However, all hopes shattered when one fateful incident happened.
Everything About the Pakistan Plane Crash That is Known so Far
An afternoon flight was set to fly Pakistanis from the eastern city of Lahore to Karachi, to reunite with their families to spend the Eid Al-Fitr holiday together.
However, all hopes were ended by a plane crash, resulting in families of passengers spending the holiday mourning the loss of their loved ones.
Pakistan International Airlines 8303, carrying 91 passengers and eight crews, had crashed into a residential area of Karachi, while attempting to land at the city’s Jinnah International Airport.
Flight PK8303 was approaching Jinnah International Airport at about 2.30pm local time yesterday (5:30pm Singapore time yesterday). The flight was given permission to land. However, pilots decided to abort and go around for a second attempt.
According to one civil aviation official, while it is unsure why the pilot would go for a second attempt. It was said that the plane may have been unable to lower its undercarriage.
Images posted on social media showed that the plane appeared to have scorch marks under both engines. There was no undercarriage visible on approach.
Pakistani media outlets published purported audio of the conversation between air traffic control and a pilot for the second attempt.
The audio recorded that the pilot told the air traffic controller that the plane has “lost engines”. The air traffic controller then asked if it was going to carry out a “belly landing”.
A belly landing is a landing in which a plane doesn’t extend all its landing gears (i.e. the wheels) while landing.
At the very next moment, the pilot replied, “Mayday, mayday, mayday”, which was the final communication from the plane.
Crashed Into A Nearby Neighbourhood Resident Area
When the plane was attempting to land the second time, it crashed into a nearby Model Colony neighbourhood, resulting in 92 deaths so far, while damaging eight homes.
So far, two people on board were found to have survived the crash. However, they sustained injuries, including fractures and burns.
Most of the bodies have not yet been identified after the crash-landing. This is because many of them were badly charred from the fire that burnt up the airplane.
Murtaza Wahab, a spokesman for the Sindh government, Karachi’s host province, stated that authorities would have to use DNA samples to identify victims.
He also mentioned that the number of casualties will keep rising as they discover more dead bodies.
Images on local television showed thick plumes of smoke, charred rooftops, and the remains of the airplane that were burned to black from the crash site. Several houses and vehicles were still burning.
The plane was seen to have crashed into a narrow street after clipping the rooftops of several houses in the neighbourhood.
Recount Of A Survivor Of The Plane Crash
A survivor, Muhammad Zubair, who was one of the two passengers who survived thus far, suffered only minor injuries.
He recounted that there were 10 to 15 minutes between the first attempt at landing, and the crash. Everyone was unaware that the plane was about to crash as the plane was flown in a smooth manner.
Hence when the incident happened, he could only see fire everywhere and screams from all directions, but no one in plain sight.
He added that he opened his seatbelt and saw some light. He then approached it and had to jump down 3 metres to get to safety.
According to a provincial government, another survivor of the plane crash was Zafar Masud, president of the Bank of Punjab. Both survivors were sat at the front of the plane.
There are reports of other survivors, but these cases have not been confirmed yet. Hence, there might be a rise in the number of survivors.
Shocked And Saddened By The Crash
Pakistani Prime Minister Imaran Khan ordered an immediate inquiry into Friday’s crash.
He stated in his Twitter post that he was “shocked and saddened” by the plane crash.
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. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 22, 2020
It is saddening to be hearing such news, especially during a COVID-19 pandemic.
Our condolences go out to the families who has to receive such a news amidst the pandemic and the holiday.
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