The Pakistani authorities raised to 35 the number of deaths in the accident of an Airbus A-320 plane of the state company Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) that crashed this Friday in a residential area of the southern city of Karachi, with 91 passengers and eight crew members on board.
“35 bodies have been recovered so far,” Meeran Yusuf, spokesman for the Sindh Province Health Department, of which Karachi is the capital, told Efe.
The source indicated that at least three of the passengers have been rescued alive and are stable in hospitals.
In addition, eight other wounded have been transferred from the crash site, residents of the area where the plane fell, half of them with burns on 60% of their bodies.
“Of the total deaths, only four have been identified. DNA tests will be carried out to identify the bodies,” Yusuf said.
The spokeswoman noted that rescue operations are ongoing.
The plane crashed in the early afternoon very close to the airport of the Pakistani economic capital and on the first day of the holiday due to the end of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.
“It crashed near the Karachi airport. It was one minute from the airport and fell in a residential area,” a spokesman for the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, Abdul Sattar, told Efe.
The spokesman had informed Efe that 107 people were traveling on the plane, but later dropped the number to 99.
PIA Executive Director Arshad Malik told the media that the pilot of the aircraft traveling from Lahore to Karachi warned that he was experiencing technical problems when approaching the airstrip.
The Pakistani Army’s communication office (ISPR) reported in a statement that it has sent helicopters and troops to the crash area to carry out rescue operations.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his regret over the accident and announced an investigation to clarify the causes of the incident.
“Saddened by the PIA accident. An investigation will be launched immediately. Prayers and condolences for the families of the deceased,” the president wrote.
The Asian country experienced one of its worst air tragedies in 2012, when 138 people died in a plane crash near Islamabad.
In December 2016, another accident killed 48 people on a journey between Chitral (north) and Islamabad.