A Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 lands dangerously close to houses in a densely populated residential area of Karachi, less than a kilometer from the airport it was attempting to land on, and strikes one of the buildings with its tail first. There is an explosion and thick black clouds of smoke rise in the air in a fraction of a second. All of this was recorded with a CCTV camera on the roof of one of the houses in the same area.
There were 99 people on board flight PK-8303, which took off from Lahore and was due to land at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi this afternoon.
At least 57 bodies were recovered at the crash site.
Exclusive CCTV footage of today's plane crash near Karachi Airport # Breaking # PlaneCrash # Karachi # Pakistan # PIApic.twitter.com / WXlOzLrGPm
– Weather from Karachi-WOK (@KarachiWok) May 22, 2020
"However, we still have to determine whether these 57 people were all on board the flight or whether local residents were trapped because some of the houses were badly damaged by the plane crash," said Sindh health minister Azra Pechuho from the PTI news agency.
Three passengers miraculously survived.
The aircraft was reportedly attempting to land a second time after the previous attempt was canceled in a routine maneuver called go-around. In the final moments before the crash, which were recorded on a flight tracking website, one of the pilots can tell the air traffic controller that he has lost both engines before sending the international emergency message "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday".
Eyewitnesses said the plane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses in the Jinnah Garden area near the Model Colony in Malir. The wreck and several houses in the area burned, as the Pakistani media showed earlier in the day.
The crash occurred just a week after Pakistan resumed flights that had been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic due to a ban.
This is the first major plane crash in Pakistan since December 7, 2016, when a PIA ATR-42 plane crashed halfway from Chitral to Islamabad and killed all 48 on board.
With contributions from agencies