40 bodies recovered from crashed Pakistan plane
At least 40 dead bodies have been recovered after a Pakistani plane crashed with nearly 100 people on
board in the southern city of Karachi on Friday, according to rescue officials, with dozens more feared dead.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane was close to landing when it came down among houses, sparking an explosion and killing several people on the ground.
“We have recovered 40 plus bodies so far,” Major Mohammad Mansoor from the Pakistan Rangers, who was overseeing the rescue operation, told AFP.
Faisal Edhi, who heads the charitable Edhi Foundation that was assisting rescuers, gave a slightly higher figure saying at least 42 dead bodies had been recovered from the area.
"As per our estimates there are around 50 more dead bodies under the debris," he said in a live television broadcast.
At least two passengers survived the crash, according to Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, the information minister in Sindh province where Karachi is located.
Plumes of smoke were sent into the air as rescue workers and residents searched the debris for survivors and firefighters tried to extinguish the flames. An AFP reporter witnessed charred bodies being loaded into ambulances.
Sarfraz Ahmed — a firefighter at the crash site — told AFP the nose of the Airbus A320 and the fuselage had been heavily damaged by the impact, adding that rescuers had pulled four bodies from the wrecked
aircraft, including some who were still wearing seatbelts.
Seemin Jamali, a director from Jinnah Post Graduate Medical College in the city, said eight dead and 15 injured people had been brought to the facility.
"They were all from the ground, no (plane) passengers have been brought here," she said.
– Technical fault –
The plane had developed a technical fault, interior minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah said, adding that the pilot issued a mayday call after the craft lost an engine.
PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said there were 91 passengers and seven crew on board the flight, which lost contact with air traffic control just after 2.30pm (0930 GMT).