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Mass Casualties Expected After Passenger Jet Crashes In Karachi, Pakistan


Soldiers and volunteers search the wreckage at the site of the  Pakistan International Airlines crash in Karachi, Pakistan, on Friday.

Soldiers and volunteers search the wreckage at the site of the Pakistan International Airlines crash in Karachi, Pakistan, on Friday.

AP, Fareed Khan

A Pakistani passenger jet carrying around 100 people aboard crashed in a residential section of Karachi — the country’s most populated city — leading local officials to prepare for the worst.

Pakistan International Airlines flight PK 8303 was en route from Lahore when it crashed into a neighborhood Friday afternoon, local time.

Videos circulating on local television and on social media showed smoke billowing from the residential area where the jet crashed. Local media citing eyewitnesses say the plane seemed to be on fire as it neared the airport, as NPR’s Diaa Hadid reported from Pakistan.

While there has been no official death count, Karachi’s mayor said there were no survivors on board the plane — which various media reports say was carrying more than 90 passengers.

Local health officials have also announced that area hospitals would be on an emergency status to prepare for possible mass casualties from the crash.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, said on Twitter that he was “shocked and saddened” by the crash and that there would be an immediate inquiry.

Khan also tweeted that he was in touch with the airline’s CEO “who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now.”

The last major crash for the state-run airline was in 2016 when nearly 50 people on-board died in a flight over the Himalayas.

Domestic flights in the country were suspended until last Saturday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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