Mohammad Zubair can hardly believe it: “I loosened my seat belt, saw the light and went in its direction. Then I jumped out”. The 24-year-old and another passenger miraculously survived the crash of a Pakistani passenger plane over a residential area in the metropolis of Karachi. 97 inmates did not make it, and people apparently died on the floor in the accident on Friday.
Zubair was incredibly lucky. He was burned, but the state is stable, according to the Pakistani Ministry of Health. In a video report from the bedside published on the Internet, he describes the minutes after the crash.
“After the machine crashed, I regained consciousness and saw only flames everywhere,” reports the 24-year-old. “There were screams everywhere, everyone tried to survive.” Then he saw the light and started to move. Apart from Zubair, only the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud, survived the crash.
All other 89 passengers and the eight crew members were killed, according to the authorities. At least 19 of them were identified by Saturday.
State-owned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Airbus A320 was approaching Karachi when both engines failed. The pilot was able to make an emergency call before the machine crashed in a residential area.
The crash apparently also killed people on the ground. Local hospital staff reported corpses that were not occupants of the machine.
According to the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the crashed aircraft was put into operation in 2004 and used for flights by the Pakistani airline from 2014. So she had more than 47,000 flight hours behind her. The flight captain is said to have been an experienced pilot.
Plane and helicopter crashes keep happening in Pakistan. In 2016, more than 40 people died when a PIA machine went up in flames in the north of the country after an engine failure. The most serious plane crash in the country’s history to date killed 152 people in 2010 when an Airbus A321 from the private airline Airblue crashed into a hilly area during a landing approach to Islamabad. An investigation report blamed a pilot mistake for the crash.
Pakistan International Airlines was one of the world’s leading airlines until the 1970s. The airline is now suffering from frequent flight cancellations, delays and financial difficulties. The airline also made negative headlines in 2013 when a PIA pilot in the UK was drunk out of the cockpit shortly before departure.
ans / gt