Karachi plane crash: Black box recovered, says airline | News

The flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were retrieved from the website of a plane crash who killed at least 97 passengers and crew in the Pakistani city of Karachi.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303 was flying from Lahore to Karachi when it crashed at 09:45 GMT on Friday. O Airbus A320, which had 99 people on board, it collided with a crowded residential neighborhood in the southern city after trying to land at the airport twice.

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"The black box was found yesterday, we are handing it over to the investigation committee," said PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan on Saturday, clarifying both the flight data recorder and the cabin voice recorder.

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Meeran Yousuf told Al Jazeera over the phone that 66 bodies were kept at the Jinnah Graduate Medical Center, the largest hospital in the Karachi government, and 31 at the Karachi Civil Hospital, another major state hospital.

Two passengers survived the accident.

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"After I hit and regained consciousness, I saw fire everywhere and no one was visible," said passenger Mohammad Zubair, 24, from his hospital bed in a video clip that circulated on social media.

"Screams were everywhere and everyone was trying to survive. I dropped my seat belt and saw a little light and tried to walk towards it. Then I jumped."

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Zubair suffered burns, but was in a stable condition, said a health ministry official. The airline named the other survivor as the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud.

Dozens of plane crash victims in Pakistan (3:34)

Seconds before the accident, the pilot told air traffic controllers that he had lost power from both engines, according to a recording published on liveatc.net, a respected aviation monitoring website.

"Our plan [an Airbus] The A320, which was coming from Lahore to Karachi, was in the final process, "said PIA chief Arshad Malik in a video message released after the accident.

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"The last words we heard from our driver were that there is a technical problem and he was informed in the final approach that he has the two runways available for him to land. But the driver decided he wanted to turn around."

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The plane quickly lost altitude and crashed near the runway in the Model Colony neighborhood, witnesses told local media.

Dense clouds of black smoke rose above the houses in the neighborhood's narrow streets, with television images showing several buildings crushed by the impact of the aircraft.

Parts of the plane, including the emergency exit door, were scattered on the streets.

Airbus said the jet flew for the first time in 2004 and was equipped with engines manufactured by CFM International, owned by General Electric and France's Safran.

Worst air disaster in years

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced shortly after the accident that there would be an inquiry,

Last week, the country resumed suspended domestic flights due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many people traveling for the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

This year's holiday should fall on Sunday or Monday in the country, subject to the observation of the moon.

Friday's accident is the worst air disaster in Pakistan since 2012, when a Bhoja Air passenger plane, a Boeing 737, crashed in the capital, Islamabad, killing 127 people.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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