The plane had 99 passengers and eight crew members on board

By Georgia Slater
May 22, 2020 08:49 AM
Plane crash in Karachi
Credit: Fareed Khan/AP/Shutterstock

A Pakistan International Airlines flight carrying more than 100 people crashed on Friday in Pakistan minutes before the plane was scheduled to land, officials said.

The Airbus A320 airline, Flight 8303, was flying from Lahore to Karachi and went missing from the radar before it was due to land at 2:30 p.m. local time, Pakistan International Airlines spokesman Abdullah Khan told CNN.

The plane had 99 passengers and eight crew members on board and at least 11 bodies from the site of the Karachi plane crash have been brought to Jinnah Hospital, according to hospital spokesperson Seemi Jamali, CNN reported.

It is not yet clear if the bodies found are victims from the ground or the plane.

According to the New York Times, the airline crashed at 2:37 p.m. in a residential area near the airport and sent flames into the air after skidding across the rooftops of several houses.

Khan told CNN that the pilot of the airline made a mayday call reporting technical problems with the flight.

Plane crash in Karachi
Credit: ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images

"He had been told both landing strips were available for his use but he preferred to use the go-around landing route, we are looking into the technical issue. Our prayers for the lives that have been lost," Khan said.

A rescue-and-recovery operation has been activated and the Pakistani army has sent helicopters to the scene, according to NBC News.

Footage of the crash on social media shows crowds of people surrounding the site, which is filled with debris and fallen power lines as an opaque cloud of black smoke fills the sky.

The crash comes as Muslims are preparing to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on Saturday, a holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.


Plane crash in Karachi
Credit: Fareed Khan/AP/Shutterstock
Plane crash in Karachi
Credit: Fareed Khan/AP/Shutterstock

After learning about the crash, many of Pakistan's leaders spoke out and shared their condolences on social media.

"Deeply grieved over devastating plane crash in res area flying to Khi & mins away from landing with many making way home for Eid. Terrible tragedy, my prayers with all families," Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote on Twitter after learning the news.


Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed that he was "shocked & saddened" by the crash.

"Prayers & condolences go to the families of the deceased," he added.

According to NBC News, domestic air travel in Pakistan only recently resumed after being paused to contain the spread of the coronavirus. International flights will be allowed to restart beginning May 31.

This story is developing and will continue to be updated.