Representative Image
Representative Image

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Lahore to Karachi crashed near Karachi Airport on Friday.

PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez confirmed the crash and added that the plane was carrying 90 passengers and 8 crew members, reported Pakistan's Dawn.

"Saying anything right now would be premature. Our crew is trained to handle emergency landings. All my prayers are with the families. We will continue to provide information in a transparent manner," he said in a statement.

Reportedly, the plane had taken off at Lahore and crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir during its approach to the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.

Confirming the incident, a senior official of the Civil Aviation Authority said the rescue operation was underway. "It is too early to say anything. We are collecting details of passengers," The Express Tribune quoted the official as saying.

Pakistan Armed Forces Spokesperson, Major General Babar Iftikhar, said that the Army Quick Reaction Force and Pakistan Rangers Sindh troops have reached the incident site.

The flight left Lahore at around 1 pm and was scheduled to land at the Karachi airport 2:45 pm.

PIA flight PK 8303 with 90 passengers and 8 crew members crashes near Karachi Airport

Reporting from the location, Journalist Samar Abbas said, "I am currently in Model colony and in the background, you can witness smoke. A plane has crashed in a residential area. PIA's PK 8303 which carried 99 passengers onboard, took from Lahore and crashed near the Karachi airport in Model colony, destroying many houses in the process. The Pak Army, rangers and police have reached the area of the crash."

Pakistan Army Aviation helicopters flown for damage assessment and rescue efforts. Urban Search and Rescue Teams were also being sent on site for rescue efforts.

Sindh's Ministry of Health and Population Welfare has declared emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi due to the plane crash, according to Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator to the provincial health minister.

Last year, a PIA aircraft skidded off the runway while landing at Gilgit airport. Passengers had remained safe in the accident, but the plane suffered considerable damage.

On December 6, 2016, PIA flight PK-661 carrying 48 passengers and crew had crashed on the way to Islamabad from Chitral, killing all on board.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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