Karachi plane crash: Black box recovered, says airline


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The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been recovered from the site of a plane crash which killed at least 97 passengers and crew members in the Pakistani city of Karachi.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303 was flying from Lahore to Karachi when it went down around 09:45 GMT on Friday. The Airbus A320, which had 99 people aboard, crashed into a crowded residential district of the southern city after twice trying to land at the airport.
“The black box had been found late yesterday, we are handing it over to the inquiry board,” PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan said on Saturday, clarifying that both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were located.
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Slide 1 of 19: CORRECTS NUMBER OF PASSENGERS TO NEARLY 100, INSTEAD OF MORE THAN 100 – Volunteers look for survivors of a plane that crashed in a residential area of Karachi, Pakistan, May 22, 2020. An aviation official says a passenger plane belonging to state-run Pakistan International Airlines carrying nearly 100 passengers and crew crashed near Karachi’s airport. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Airbus A320 crashed into a residential near Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, on May 22, 2020. The flight, with 99 people – 91 passengers and eight crew members – on board, went down as it approached the airport after technical failure. According to an audio recording of the last conversation between the air traffic control and the pilot, published by the local media, the plane had “lost an engine.” At least 76 bodies have been recovered so far, as per a statement from the health authorities of Sindh province.
(Pictured) Volunteers look for survivors on May 22.
Seconds before the crash, the pilot told air traffic controllers he had lost power from both engines, according to a recording posted on liveatc.net, a respected aviation monitoring website.
“Our plane [an Airbus] A320 which was coming from Lahore to Karachi was on final approach,” said PIA chief Arshad Malik in a video message released after the crash.
“The last words we heard from our pilot were that there is a technical problem and he was told on final approach that he has both runways available to him to land on. But the pilot decided that he wanted to go around.”
The plane then rapidly lost altitude and crashed short of the runway into the Model Colony neighbourhood, witnesses told local media.
Dense plumes of black smoke rose above houses in the narrow streets of the neighbourhood, with television footage showing several buildings crushed from the impact of the aircraft.
Parts of the plane, including the emergency exit door, were strewn in the streets.
Airbus said the jet first flew in 2004 and was fitted with engines built by CFM International, co-owned by General Electric and France’s Safran.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced soon after the crash that there would be an inquiry,
The country only last week resumed domestic flights it had suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many people travelling for the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
This year’s holiday is expected to fall on Sunday or Monday in the country, subject to the sighting of the moon.
Friday’s crash is the worst air disaster in Pakistan since 2012, when a Bhoja Air passenger aircraft, a Boeing 737, crashed in the capital, Islamabad, killing 127 people.
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