Reports of Survivors Emerge After Passenger Jet Crash

Plane had 107 aboard when went down in congested area of Karachi, Pakistan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 22, 2020 6:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – A passenger plane with 107 people on board crashed in a crowded neighborhood on the edge of the international airport near Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi on Friday after what appeared to be an engine failure during landing. Mayor Wasim Akhtar said at least five or six houses were destroyed in the crash of the domestic flight operated by Pakistan International Airlines. He said all those on board died, but two civil aviation officials later said that at least two people survived the crash, per the AP. Local TV stations reported that three people sitting in the front row of the aircraft survived and aired footage of a man on a stretcher they identified as Zafar Masood, the head of the Bank of Punjab. No word yet on the number of casualties on the ground.

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A transmission of the pilot's final exchange with air traffic control indicated he had failed to land and was circling around to make another attempt when the plane went down. "We are proceeding direct, sir—we have lost engine," a pilot said. Videos shared online showed "black smoke billowing up between tightly packed buildings," per CBS News, which notes Pakistan had only resumed commercial flights days earlier. A resident of the area said he saw the aircraft circle at least three times, appearing to try to land at the airport before it crashed into several houses. The crash follows a 2016 crash involving another Pakistan International Airlines jet that killed more than 40 people. (Read more plane crash stories.)

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