A Pakistan International Airlines plane taxis on the runway at the airport in Islamabad. File / AFP
Volunteers look for survivors of a plane that crashed in a residential area of Karachi. AP
It is estimated that 98 people were aboard the Airbus A-320 aircraft when it crashed, including 91 passengers and seven crew members.
As the news broke, many including celebs took to social media and mourned the tragic incident.
The news has led to an outpouring of grief: the tragedy of the incident compounded by the fact that the festival of Eid was just around the corner, and many of the victims were likely returning to their families to celebrate.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he is “shocked and saddened” by the crash.
He said he is in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik who is on his way to Karachi, adding “this is the priority right now.”
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he is “deeply grieved” over the “devastating plane crash” with so many people minutes away from being home for Eid. He said his prayers are with all the families.
“We are in midst of grave challenges as a nation and in these times of trial we must show resolve and unity,” the foreign minister said.
Sports journalist Zainab Abbas expressed sorrow at the incident.
Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has also expressed shock and deep grief over the PIA crash.
The PPP chairman called for urgent rescue operations and offered condolences and prayers for those whose loved ones were on board. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the painful incident has grieved the entire country ahead of Eid.
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.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane came down among houses on Friday afternoon after both engines failed as it approached Karachi airport, the airline said.
After the aircraft reportedly called off an earlier attempt to land and went around for a second attempt, a controller radioed the pilot of flight 8303 that he appeared to be turning left, suggesting he was off-course.
Mayor Wasim Akhtar said at least five or six houses were destroyed in the crash of the domestic flight operated by PIA. He said all those on board died, but two civil aviation officials later said that at least two people survived the crash.
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