Horror as Airbus A320 crashes into Karachi killing all 107 aboard

A bank executive and at least one other passenger have been pulled alive from the wreckage of an Airbus A320 which crashed after an engine failure in Pakistan today with 108 people on board. 

Bank of Punjab president Zafar Masood was dragged from the smoking debris of the Pakistan International Airlines flight after it smashed into a residential area in Karachi today. 

Pakistani officials said two people had survived the crash while local TV said there were three survivors who had sat at the front of the plane, but the other 105 passengers and crew are believed to have died. 

Witnesses said the flight from Lahore had made three failed attempts to land at Jinnah International Airport before ploughing into the Model Colony area of the city on a fourth landing attempt. 

The pilot told air traffic control that he had lost both of his engines and a recording has emerged of the captain making a final mayday call before the crash. The Airbus A320-214 model uses a CFM56 engine made by CFM International, a joint venture between US-based General Electric and France’s Safran. 

A photo of the aircraft on approach also shows that the landing gear is still up and black scorch marks under each engine. 

The air traffic control recording starts after the pilot has lready made one failed landing attempt. 

The pilot says: ‘We are proceeding direct, sir – we have lost engine’.

‘Confirm your attempt on belly,’ the air traffic controller said, offering a runway.

‘Sir, mayday, mayday, mayday, mayday Pakistan 8303,’ the pilot said before the transmission ended. 

Videos uploaded on social media show the plane’s final moments as it steadily descends to the shrieks of terrified residents. Witnesses say the plane was so low they felt the walls of their houses tremble and saw the plane tilted on one side.   Bank of Punjab president Zafar Masood was dragged from the smoking debris of the Pakistan International Airlines flight after it smashed into houses in Karachi todayThe bank manager is pictured on a stretcher in pictures aired by Pakistani TV

The chequered safety record of CFM56 engine mounted on Airbus A320 

According to Flightradar24, the particular model which crashed today was an Airbus A320-214, which uses an engine called a CFM56-5B4. 

CFM International is a joint venture between General Electric of the United States and France’s Safran. 

The failure of a pair of CFM engines  was blamed for the Kegworth air disaster in 1989, when 47 people were killed after a Boeing 737 crashed into a motorway embankment in Leicestershire. 

A fan blade in one of the engines failed around 13 minutes into the British Midland Airways flight, investigators said. 

The engine was subsequently modified and cleared to fly again. 

In 2018, a CFM56 engine on Southwest flight 1380 blew apart over Pennsylvania about 20 minutes after the Dallas-bound flight left New York. The explosion sent shrapnel ripping into the fuselage of the Boeing 737-700 plane and shattered a window. One person died. 

Plumes of smoke smothered the skyline after the Pakistan International Airlines plane smashed into houses among the poor and densely populated area of Model Colony that is two miles from the airport.

Safety record of the Airbus A320…

There have been 119 aviation incidents and accidents across the Airbus A320 fleet. 

The narrow-body airliners are designed and produced by Airbus, and the first A320 was launched in 1987. 

The fleet’s first crash happened just a year later in 1988 after the captain of an Air France Flight 296 delayed applying full power as he climbed away, crashing into trees beyond the runway. 

Four further crashes happened in the 1990s, including in Bangalore, the Vosges mountains, Warsaw, and the Philippines. 

Nine incidents took place in the 2000s and a further 13 happened between 2011 and 2019. 

It is believed that 18 of the accidents have been fatal, including more than 1,400 deaths. 

A total of 47 hull loss incidents – when the plane is damaged beyond repair – have occurred among the fleet.

Footage showed scenes of chaos with burning rubble and plane debris strewn across the area as hospitals ready themselves for a flurry of victims and the Pakistani Army desperately hunts for survivors. The Prime Minister has pledged to hold an ‘immediate inquiry’ into the crash.

The Airbus had been flying from Lahore to Jinnah, which usually takes 90 minutes, before it went down in the Model Colony area as it began its final approach to land at Karachi airport.

‘The last we heard from the pilot was that he has some technical problem,’ a PIA spokesman revealed. 

‘He was told from the final approach that both the runways were ready where he can land, but the pilot decided that he wanted to do (a) go-round… It is a very tragic incident.’ 

A recording posted on monitoring website liveatc.net reveals the pilot told controllers the plane had lost power from both its engines on its second attempt to land.

As it called off an earlier attempt to land and tried for a second time, a controller radioed the pilot and told him he appeared to be turning left, suggesting he was off-course.

The pilot replied, ‘We are returning back, sir, we have lost engines,’ and the controller cleared the plane to land on either of Karachi airport’s two West-Southwest-facing runways.

Twelve seconds later the pilot cried ‘Mayday, Mayday, Mayday’ and was again cleared to use either runway.

A resident of the area, Abdul Rahman, said he saw the aircraft circle at least three times, appearing to try and land before it crashed into several houses and caused roofs to cave in. 

‘The aeroplane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses,’ witness Shakeel Ahmed said near the site, a few miles short of the airport. 

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sources said the captain had reported a technical fault before the plane vanished from the radar.  

They told News One that communication with the plane was cut off one minute before it was scheduled to touch down. 

Seemin Jamali, executive director at the nearby Jinnah Hospital, said 17 dead bodies and six wounded people had been brought in. There were no estimates of casualties on the ground in the area where the plane crashed. 

Rescue workers and local residents pulled people from the debris as firefighters battled to put out the flames.

‘I heard a big bang and woke up to people calling for the fire brigade,’ said Karachi resident Mudassar Ali. 

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted: ‘Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now.

‘Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.’

The crash comes as Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages.  

Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the crash. The flight typically takes an hour and a half from the northeastern city of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab, to Karachi. 

Airworthiness documents showed the plane last received a government check on Nov. 1, 2019. PIA’s chief engineer signed a separate certificate April 28 saying all maintenance had been conducted on the plane and that ‘the aicraft is fully airworthy and meets all the safety’ standards.

The jet has been indentified by tracking website flightradar24.com as a 15-year-old Airbus A320, A child survivor, with its cheek and head bandaged, looks on at the unfolding horrorA Pakistani Army soldier leads a survivor away from the scene

A child survivor, with its cheek and head bandaged, looks on at the unfolding horror (left) while a Pakistani Army soldier (right) leads another away from the scene  A victim is taken away on a body board as medics scramble to find survivors

A victim is taken away on a body board as medics scramble to find survivors Hospital staff prepare to receive the victims of the passenger plane crash

Hospital staff prepare to receive the victims of the passenger plane crashAmbulances arrive at the scene  ready to rush victims to hospital

Ambulances arrive at the scene  ready to rush victims to hospital Police have also been spotted blasting water on the charred remains of the aircraft

Police have also been spotted blasting water on the charred remains of the aircraftEmergency authorities have been scrambled to the scene in a desperate attempt to find survivors injured in the crash

Emergency authorities have been scrambled to the scene in a desperate attempt to find survivors injured in the crash A plume of smoke is seen in the aftermath of the crash

A plume of smoke is seen in the aftermath of the crash Arshad Malik, PIA boss, posted a message of condolence on Twitter

Arshad Malik, PIA boss, posted a message of condolence on Twitter

The Pakistan military tweeted that security forces had been deployed to the area and helicopters were being used to survey the damage and help ongoing rescue operations. 

The crash comes just days after the country began allowing commercial flights to resume.  

Pakistan has a chequered military and civilian aviation safety record, with frequent plane and helicopter crashes over the years.

In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while flying from the remote northern to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.

PIA, one of the world’s leading airlines until the 1970s, now suffers from a sinking reputation due to frequent cancellations, delays and financial troubles. It has been involved in numerous controversies over the years, including the jailing of a drunk pilot in Britain in 2013.

The crash comes as Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages.

Karachi plane crash: Three pulled ALIVE from wreckage, 104 dead

Kazan- Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982

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