A chopper flies over the site of a passenger plane crash in a residential area near an airport in Karachi on Friday. Reuters
PIA’s chief engineer signed a separate certificate April 28 saying all maintenance had been conducted. It said "the aircraft is fully airworthy and meets all the safety” standards.
Volunteers carry the body of plane crash victim in Karachi. AP
Ownership records for the Airbus A320 showed China Eastern Airlines flew the plane from 2004 until 2014. The plane then entered PIA’s fleet, leased from GE Capital Aviation Services.
Perry Bradley, a spokesman for GE, said the firm was "aware of reports of the accident and is closely monitoring the situation.”
Airbus said the plane had logged 47,100 flight hours and 25,860 flights as of Friday. The plane had two CFM56-5B4 engines.
Airbus said it would provide technical assistance to investigators in France and Pakistan, as well as the airline and engine manufacturers.
"We at Airbus are deeply saddened by the tragic news of flight #PK8303," tweeted Executive Director Guillaume Faury. "My thoughts and those of my Airbus colleagues, go to the families and loved ones affected. In aviation, we all work hard to prevent this. Airbus will provide full assistance to the investigating authorities.”
A combo photo of the ill-fated PIA's crew members.
The pilot was heard transmitting a mayday to the tower shortly before the crash of Flight 8303, which was flying from Lahore to Karachi and carrying many traveling for the Muslim holiday of Eid Al Fitr.
Video on social media appeared to show the jet flying low with flames shooting from one of its engines.
The plane went down about 2:39 p.m. northeast of Jinnah International Airport in the poor and congested residential area known as Model Colony between houses that were smashed by its wings. Police in protective masks struggled to clear away crowds amid the smoke and dust so ambulances and firetrucks could reach the crash site.
As darkness fell, crews worked under floodlights, and a portable morgue was set up. The Sindh provincial health department said it had recovered 57 bodies, while PIA chairman Arshad Malik said finding all the dead could take two to three days.
Provincial Minister Saeed Ghani, second from right, meets Mohammad Zubair who survived a plane crash, at a hospital in Karachi. AP
Pakistan’s civil aviation authority said the plane had 91 passengers and a crew of seven. The A320 can carry up to 180 passengers, depending on how its cabin is configured.
At least two people aboard survived, according to the health department, revising an earlier statement that three were alive.
Local TV stations showed video of a man on a stretcher they identified as Zafar Masood, the head of the Bank of Punjab. Malik later confirmed that Masood survived the crash.
At least three people on the ground were injured.
Malik announced an investigation into the crash, adding that the aircraft was in good working order.
Pakistan had resumed domestic flights earlier this week ahead of Eid Al Fitr, which marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Pakistan has been in a countrywide lockdown since mid-March because of the coronavirus, and the airline has been using social distancing guidelines on its flights by leaving every other seat vacant.
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a cable of condolences to President Arif Alvi of Pakistan for the victims of the plane crash in Karachi.
The crash site was so congested that the rescue workers had to break portion of a wall to reach the crashed plane. Authorities suspended power as overhead electricity wires and a power grid were creating hurdles in the movement of rescue cranes.
Reports of her demise started circulating on social media on Friday night; Frieha Altaf was one of the first to share the tragic news on Twitter: However, Abid's brother, Daani was still waiting on an official update from the authorities then.
Pakistan also reported 4,734 new virus cases, raising its overall infections to 93,983. With the latest 97 virus-related deaths, the highest 24-hour increase to its fatalities, as authorities urged volunteers to motivate people to adhere to social distancing regulations to contain the spread of the virus.
With the Hajj Committee announcing full refunds of the fees for the ensuing Hajj 2020 season, the pilgrimage dreams of thousands of Muslim faithful are shattered.
The group were travelling through Badakshan province to assist security forces in the area, officials said. A local commander was among the fatalities, provincial governor's spokesman Sanaullah Rohani told the media.