A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crashed in Karachi, Pakistan, on Friday (22). The aircraft had taken off from Lahore with 99 passengers and 7 crew, Pakistani aviation officials said.
According to the country's Civil Aviation Authority, the flight was about to land in Karachi when it crashed. The local press reports that the plane lost contact with the communication tower a minute before it was due to land. The pilot reportedly said he was experiencing technical problems.
Soldiers have accessed the crash site and are working on the rescue. So far, 11 bodies have been removed from the rubble.
Videos posted on social media show a large column of smoke and parts of the aircraft, model Airbus A320, which appears to have fallen in a residential area.
The flights were restarted in Pakistan just a week ago, after two months of stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was shocked and saddened by the accident. "I am in contact with the PIA CEO, Arshad Malik, who left for Karachi, and with the rescue and relief teams on site, as that is the priority now. An immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers and condolences for the families of the deceased ", tweeted.
Pakistan has a history of air accidents. In 2010, an aircraft operated by the private airline Airblue crashed near Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board – the most deadly air disaster in the country's history.
In 2012, a Boeing 737-200 operated by Pakistan's Bhoja Air crashed due to bad weather in Rawalpindi, killing all 121 passengers and six crew.
And in 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane caught fire while flying from northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing 47 people.