Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials confirmed the national flag carrier’s flight PK-8303 that was flying from Lahore to Karachi crashed in Model Colony. The plane crashed moments before landing at the Karachi airport.
The aircraft had 99 passengers and eight crew members on board, the officials said. A senior journalist and Bank of Punjab President Zafar Masood were among the flyers.
A PIA spokesperson said the ill-fated plane lost contact with the air controller at about 2:37pm. He said the pilot of the jet in his last message said that there was a technical fault. Several houses and vehicles were damaged as the plane hit them while crashing.
Television footage showed thick plumes of smokes rising from the crash site. Ambulances and rescue officials arrived at the scene as a heavy contingent of law enforcement agencies cordoned off the incident site.
According to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Army Quick Reaction Force and Pakistan Rangers Sindh troops reached the site for relief and rescue efforts alongside the civil administration.
It said the army’s aviation helicopters have flown to the crash site for damage assessment and rescue efforts as urban search and rescue teams are also being dispatched to the site for rescue efforts.
Update #PIA Incident:
Pak Army Aviation helicopters flown for damage assessment and rescue efforts.
Urban Search & Rescue Teams are being sent on site for rescue efforts.
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) May 22, 2020
An emergency has been declared in all major hospitals of the port city due to the incident.
Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Asim Saleem Bajwa said: “On PM’s directions, all emergency services & resources mobilised,evacuation in progress.” Our heart goes out to all families of on board passengers of the ill fated PIA plane that just crashed close to Karachi Airport.”
Sad News:Our heart goes out to all families of on board passengers of the ill fated PIA plane that just crashed close to Karachi Airport. On PM’s directions, all emergency services & resources mobilised,evacuation in progress.More details will be shared subsequently
— Asim Saleem Bajwa (@AsimSBajwa) May 22, 2020
Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has directed the police chief and Karachi commissioner to ensure all possible relief operations at the crash site.
CM Sindh has directed IGP and Commissioner Karachi to ensure all possible relief operations at the crash site. May Allah help us all in such difficult times
— SenatorMurtaza Wahab (@murtazawahab1) May 22, 2020
Condolences pour in
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed shock and sadness over the loss of precious lives in the incident and ordered the authorities to speed up rescue efforts.
“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,” he said, ordering an immediate inquiry into the 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
In a tweet, President Dr Arif Alvi expressed sorrow over the incident and prayed for the victims.
پی آئی اے کے حادثے پر ہم سب رنج اور غم کا شکار ہیں۔ جاں بحق مسافروں کو اللہ غریق رحمت کرے اور جنت الفردوس میں جگہ دے۔
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ۔
لواحقین کے لیۓ اللہ سے دعا ہے کہ انکو صبر جمیل عطا فرماۓ۔
اللہ ہم پر رحم کرے۔ آمین
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) May 22, 2020
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, offering condolences over the loss of precious lives in the tragic PIA plane crash, said he shares the grief of bereaved families in this difficult time.
He issued directives for provision of full assistance to the civil administration in rescue and relief effort.
#COAS condoles loss of precious lives in tragic PIA plane crash. Shares grief of bereaved families in this difficult time. COAS directed provision of full assistance to civil administration in rescue/ relief effort.
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) May 22, 2020
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan expressed grief over the tragic air crash of PIA Airbus 320 aircraft. He said that PAF stands by PIA at this difficult time and extends all-out support in Rescue Operation, according to a PAF press release.
Deeply grieved over devastating plane crash in res area flying to Khi & mins away from landing with many making way home for Eid. Terrible tragedy, my prayers with all families. We are in midst of grave challenges as a nation & in these times of trial we must show resolve & unity
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) May 22, 2020
Really saddened to hear about PIA Plane crash just a couple of days before Eid. We can’t imagine the pain their loved ones must be going through!
My prayers & sympathies are with the families of the passengers onboard. May Allah give them strength to cope with this loss. Aameen
— Usman Buzdar (@UsmanAKBuzdar) May 22, 2020
پی آئی اے طیارہ حادثے پر گہرا دکھ اور افسوس ہے۔یہ انتہائی غم زدہ کر دینے والا حادثہ ہے،متاثرہ خاندانوں کے غم میں برابر کے شریک ہیں۔اس وقت بنیادی توجہ امدادی کاروائیوں پر مرکوز ہے۔
— Senator Shibli Faraz (@shiblifaraz) May 22, 2020
پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن) کے صدر اور قائد حزب اختلاف شہبازشریف کا پی آئی اے مسافر طیارے کے حادثے کے پر شدید رنج وغم اور افسوس کا اظہار
ائیر بس حادثے پر پوری قوم کو دلی رنج ہے
متاثرہ خاندانوں سے دلی ہمدردی کا اظہار کرتے ہیں
— PML(N) (@pmln_org) May 22, 2020
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed shock and deep grief at the PIA flight crash on a populated area near Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, Karachi this afternoon. In a statement, the PPP chairman urged for urgent rescue operations at the crash site and sympathised with those whose loved ones were on board besides offering prayers.