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Dozens die as Pakistan plane crashes into residential area

Dozens of people are feared dead after a Pakistan International Airlines plane with 99 passengers and 8 crew crashed on Friday, May 22 in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi.

The flight PK 8303, was flying from Lahore to Karachi at a time when Pakistan has just resumed domestic flights in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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According to an eye witness, the 15-year-old Airbus A320 first hit a mobile tower before crushing over houses just a few kilometres from the airport.

Confirming the incident, the state carrier’s spokesman Abdullah H. Khan said that they last heard from the pilot complaining of a technical hitch.

“The last we heard from the pilot was that he has some technical problem. He was told from the final approach that both the runways were ready where he can land, but the pilot decided that he wanted to do (a) go-round. It is a very tragic incident,” Khan said.

A senior civil aviation official told Reuters it appeared the plane was unable to open its wheels due to a technical fault prior to landing, but it was too early to determine the cause.

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“The pilot was told that he could land at the Karachi airports, he was told that both the runways were ready, but he took a circle and gave a MayDay call before the crash,” another civil aviation officia told Reuters. “We don’t know yet whether he gave any reason at the time of the MayDay call,” he added.

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