According to the authorities, at least 80 people were killed in a passenger plane crash in the Pakistani city of Karachi, according to the Reuters news agency. However, it is unclear whether these are only passengers of the Airbus A320 of Pakistan International Airlines or also residents of the buildings destroyed in the crash. The plane crashed into a densely populated residential area in Pakistan's largest city on Friday morning. Thick smoke rose from the scene of the accident, the fuselage was stuck in the ruins of multi-story buildings.
The cause of the crash was also initially unclear. The pilot is said to have previously reported a failure of both engines by radio. The machine, with around a hundred people on board, had started in Lahore and was approaching Karachi. Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah said the machine had technical problems. The pilot made an emergency call after an engine failure. "The last time we heard about the pilot, he said he had a technical problem," said the airline's managing director, Arshad Malik, in a Twitter video. "He was told that two runways were free, but decided to accelerate again."
A recording of the radio traffic between the pilot and tower was published on the "liveatc.net" portal, so the pilot tried to land twice. He broke off the first attempt and then tried again to land. An air traffic controller tells the pilot that the plane is apparently turning to the left and is off course. The pilot replied, "We're turning, sir, the engines have failed." The air traffic controller cleared two runways for the aircraft before the pilot made an emergency call twelve seconds later. The pilot again said that two runways were free. Then the connection broke.
Crashes in Pakistan again and again According to Reuters, an eyewitness reported that the plane first rammed a cell phone mast and then crashed over the houses a few kilometers from the airport. TV pictures showed badly damaged houses, debris and black clouds of smoke over the crash site. Rescue workers and residents rescued victims from the rubble, firefighters deleted parts of the wreckage, and plane and helicopter crashes occur repeatedly in Pakistan. In 2016, more than 40 people died when a PIA machine went up in flames in the north of the country after an engine failure. The most serious plane crash in the country's history to date killed more than 150 people in 2010 when an Airbus A321 from the private airline Airblue crashed into a hilly area during a landing approach to Islamabad. At the time, an investigation report blamed a pilot mistake for the crash.
After a plane from the private airline Bhoja Air crashed in Islamabad in a severe thunderstorm in 2012, killing 127 people, the Pakistani Ministry of Defense announced that it would subject all of the country's private airlines to a technical inspection. The crash in 2010 was due to a private airline, but Bhoja Air emphasized that the machine was safe, according to the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, which was put into operation in 2004 and used for flights by the Pakistani airline from 2014. Pakistan International Airlines was one of the world's leading airlines until the 1970s. The airline is now suffering from frequent flight cancellations, delays and financial difficulties.
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