New Delhi: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Lahore to Karachi, crashed into a residential area near Jinnah International Airport on Friday. The fight PK 8303 was carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members. Also Read - Google Play Store Pulls Down India's Mitron App After Pakistani Software Developer Company Claimed to be Its Original Owner
PIA spokesperson Abdul Sattar confirmed the crash. “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. Also Read - Imran Khan Says it Was 'Mistake' to Enforce Strict Lockdown Even as COVID-19 Cases Cross 72,000-mark
Expressing grief over the incident, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said,”Shocked and saddened by the PIA crash. I am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi and with the rescue and relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers and condolences go to families of the deceased.” Also Read - Coronavirus: Cases in Pakistan Rise Above 69,470; Death Toll Nears 1,500-mark
A statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Army Quick Reaction Force and Sindh Pakistan Rangers reached the site for relief and rescue efforts alongside civil administration. Pakistan Army Aviation helicopters flown for damage assessment and rescue efforts. Urban Search and Rescue Teams were also being sent on site.
Meanwhile, Sindh’s Minister of Health and Population Welfare has declared emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi following the plane crash.
Notably, Pakistan had resumed air travel on May 16 after a lockdown, which was imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19.