Ninety-seven people were killed and two survived when a passenger plane crashed into homes in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi, health officials said Saturday.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane had made multiple approaches to land at the city’s airport when it came down in a residential area, damaging buildings and sparking a rescue operation that lasted into the night.
All passengers and crew had been accounted for and the bodies of those killed had been recovered from the crash site, the Sindh Health Ministry said, adding that 19 had been identified.
Watch: Video shows the wreckage of crashed Pakistan Airlines flight #PK8303 lying amid destroyed and damaged houses in #Pakistan’s #Karachi city. At least 80 people were confirmed to have died in the crash while two others are believed to have survived.https://t.co/7Bjq01xfzj pic.twitter.com/S7PnU5qRav— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) May 22, 2020
A local hospital earlier reported it had received the bodies of people killed on the ground.
The site remained cordoned off on Saturday morning.
The crash sent plumes of smoke were into the air as rescue workers and residents searched the debris for people and as firefighters tried to extinguish the flames.
An AFP reporter witnessed charred bodies being loaded into ambulances.
Watch: Video shows rescue workers and soldiers combing through the crash site and debris of #PK8303 looking for survivors. The Pakistan International Airlines flight ploughed into buildings in a crowded Karachi neighborhood earlier today.https://t.co/7Bjq01xfzj pic.twitter.com/nfmRIOhOlh— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) May 22, 2020
PIA said the plane lost contact with air traffic control just after 2:30 pm (0930 GMT) traveling from Lahore to Karachi.
The disaster comes as Pakistanis prepare to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many traveling back to their homes in cities and villages.