One of the two people who survived a plane crash in Pakistan that killed 97 people onboard has described jumping from the burning wreckage of the airc
One of the two people who survived a plane crash in Pakistan that killed 97 people onboard has described jumping from the burning wreckage of the aircraft after it hurtled into a residential neighbourhood, AFP is reporting.
The Pakistan International Airlines plane came down among houses on Friday after both engines failed as it approached Karachi airport, the airline said. Its wings sliced through rooftops, sending flames and plumes of smoke into the air as it crashed onto a street, sparking a rescue operation that lasted until the early hours of Saturday.
The 97 victims had been on the plane, the provincial health ministry said, while four people on the ground were injured after earlier reports on Friday suggested some residents had been killed by the crash.
Pakistan’s deadliest aviation accident in eight years came days after commercial flights resumed ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Planes had been grounded during a two-month lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“After it hit and I regained consciousness, I saw fire everywhere and no one was visible. The cries were everywhere and everybody was trying to survive. I undid my seat belt and I saw some light and tried to walk towards it. Then I jumped out,” passenger Mohammad Zubair, 24, said from his hospital bed in a video clip circulated on social media.
Zubair had suffered burns but was in a stable condition, a health ministry official said. The airline named the other survivor as the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud. PIA chief executive Arshad Mahmood Malik told media late Saturday that authorities had also recovered the plane’s black box and had handed it over to investigators.
At least 19 bodies had been identified, while 47 relatives had come forward to provide DNA samples for tests.
Several members of the armed forces were on the plane, the military said.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the captain, Sajjad Gull, had been described by the airline as a senior A320 pilot with extensive flight experience.
“The pilot did his best to bring the plane to the runway and tried hard to contain damages. There will be fair inquiry to put forth facts immediately before the public and parliament,” Khan said Saturday.