PIA plane with 98 onboard crashes in Karachi

Representative image

Karachi: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with 98 people onboard crashed in a residential area in Karachi near the city's Jinnah International Airport on Friday, an official of the flag carrier said, but did not confirm any casualties.

The crash took place in the city's Model Colony area, reports Dawn news.

PIA spokesperson Abdul Sattar confirmed the crash and added that the flight A-320 was carrying 90 passengers and eight crew members. The A320 Airbus was flying from Lahore to Karachi.

"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.

Footage showed plumes of smoke rising from the site of the crash.

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.

Meanwhile, 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, Dawn news reported.

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 Minister of Health and Population Welfare has declared emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi due to the plane crash.

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.

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