Speaking exclusively with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Friday, May 22, the Pakistan International Airlines spokesperson Abdullah Hafiz Khan revealed that 37 persons on board the flight which crashed in Karachi had been confirmed dead so far. He mentioned that there were 91 passengers on the flight besides 8 crew members. Maintaining that it was too early to suggest the cause of the plane crash, he asserted that the investigation was underway.
PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafiz Khan remarked, "First of all, I want to mention that it is one of the saddest moments...The aircraft PK-8303 was on approach from Lahore to Karachi. With a bit short of landing, the pilot informed that there was some sort of a technical problem... Immediately after that, it (the plane) went off the radar and it was reported that it crashed in a public inhabited area. There were 99 persons on board- 91 passengers and 8 crew members. So far, we have retrieved 37 dead bodies and two survivors... It is too early to suggest what actually caused the accident. Obviously it will be investigated...The site has been cordoned off by Pakistan Army..."
Jabbar Chaudhary, a journalist from Lahore informed Republic TV that eyewitness reports did suggest that the pilot tried to direct the plane away from the residential area. He noted that there were high-rise buildings in the area. Talking to the channel from Islamabad, journalist Raja Faisal supported this contention as well. He recalled a conversation with an aviation expert who told him that the pilot would have lost control of the plane if the engine failure happened.
Jabbar Chaudhary opined, "The reports we are getting from Karachi are eyewitness reports. The pilot tried to pull out (from the residential area). Both of the engines were damaged. There are high-rise buildings near the crash site. The plane was gliding in the air. The pilot had lost control of the plane."
"It is a densely populated area and close high-rise buildings. The pilot might have been thinking of diverting the plane from where it was heading just because maybe he was trying to save the population. An expert in the aviation sector was telling me that as soon as engine failure happens, it is obvious that the control of the plane would go away from the pilots," Raja Faisal observed.
A PIA passenger plane crashed in Karachi's Model Colony near Jinnah International Airport at around 2.30 pm moments before it was about to land. After the crash, visuals showed the entire area engulfed in smoke and a slew of ambulances arriving on the spot. Among the passengers were Director Programming '24 News' Ansar Naqvi and Bank of Punjab president Zafar Masood.
The media coordinator for the Sindh Health Minister confirmed that Masood was one of the survivors. Condemning the accident, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that PIA CEO Arshad Malik had left for Karachi and an immediate inquiry would be constituted. After the plane crash, the Pakistan Army Quick Reaction Force and Sindh Pakistan Rangers reached the site for relief and rescue measures alongside the civil administration.