[Peter Paul Media] — A Pakistani jetliner with at least 98 people aboard crashed in a populated area southeast of Jinnah International Airport in Karachi Friday minutes before landing, presumably killing all on board.
Pakistan International Airlines [PIA] said in a news release that 98 people were aboard the plane but a Facebook post puts the toll at 107 people. The captain of PK8303 reported a technical issue to air traffic control just prior to the crash, PIA said.
“Details are still coming about the unfortunate and sad incident. PIA is doing everything possible to assist authorities at this time,” a statement read.
“Rescue efforts are under way and we are also ascertaining the extent of damage to life of those on board the aircraft.”
“PIA is doing everything possible to help the families of passengers and crew members for first hand information regarding the incident and damage.”
The aircraft, an Airbus A320 registered as AP-BLD, was 15 years old according to AirFleets.net. The flight was operating between Lahore and Karachi and appears to have been on final approach when it veered left of the runway and crashed.
Unconfirmed video footage shows what appears to be aircraft wreckage from a PIA plane with visible markings in a densely populated area. 92 News HD footage showed bystanders stood by as others helped what appeared to be wounded people.
Most flights have been grounded worldwide due to COVID-19 but PIA had just restarted domestic operations because of Eid celebrations, which are just beginning.
PIA is a flag carrier with a fleet of Boeing 777, Airbus A320 and ATR aircraft. They operated flights in and out Toronto prior to COVID-19 and the market is big.
Over 8,800 A320s have been delivered to 330+ operators worldwide.
There are unconfirmed reports of survivors and casualties on the ground.
UPDATED COVER PHOTO: A Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 is seen in 2006. It is the same one involved in Friday’s crash, registered AP-BLD. Source: Wikipedia