A passenger plane belonging to state-run Pakistan International Airlines crashed near the southern port city of Karachi on Friday, killing all 107 passengers and crew, the city’s mayor said.
The aircraft crashed into a crowded neighborhood on the edge of the airport. Mayor Wasim Akhtar said at least five or six houses were destroyed in the crash. It wasn’t immediately known how many casualties were from among the residential area.
Witnesses said the Airbus A320 appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing in a residential area near Jinnah International Airport. The residential area on the edge of the airport known as Model Colony is a poor area and heavily congested.
Eyewitness Tahir Hussain said the noise from the crash was “like an earthquake”.
The aircraft arriving from the eastern city of Lahore was carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members, said a spokesman for the country’s civil aviation authority.
The civil aviation authority said the pilot called in a mayday saying that he had lost an engine. He was attempting to land when the plane crashed.
Police and military cordoned off the area.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted: “Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. . . Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.”
Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the crash. The flight typically takes an hour and a half from the northeastern city of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab, to Karachi.