A Pakistan International Airlines flight crashed into a residential area in Karachi, Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 37 people with a death toll that’s expected to rise.
BBC News reports that the Pakistani carrier’s Airbus A320 was carrying 91 passengers and eight crew from Lahore (LAH) to Karachi (KHI) Friday when the pilot reported engine failure and issued a mayday call. The plane went down after trying to land.
At least three people survived, but officials have confirmed at least 37 deaths from the scene of the crash. Footage from the scene shows smoldering plane wreckage and destroyed homes. Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city.
The cause of the plane’s issues was unclear. The airline’s chief executive Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik, confirmed that the pilot told air traffic control he was having “technical difficulties.”
The crash came just days after Pakistan resumed commercial flights due to coronavirus shutdown. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an immediate investigation of the crash.
Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 22, 2020
Both Pakistan International Airlines and the country as a whole have a spotty air safety record. Friday’s fatal crash was the airline’s sixth crash with fatalities since 1986. Its most recent fatal crash was in 2016.
Lead photo courtesy of Anna Zverera via Flickr