On Friday, May 22, an aircraft failed to land successfully and crashed on a residential area in Karachi. Two survivors was pulled out from the site, while the other passengers and crew members died upon impact.
A bank executive and at least one other passenger have been pulled alive from the wreckage. The president of Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masood, was dragged by rescuers from the smoking debris of the Pakistan International Airlines flight.
According to Pakistan's health department, there are at least two people aboard that survived, changing the initial statement that three people survived. However, the other 95 passengers and the crew of the flight have tragically died upon impact.
According to the officials who talked to Mr. Masood, the bank executive who survived the crash, he was assigned in seat 1C and he was grateful that he was saved.
Muhammad Zubair was the second survivor that the rescuers were able to pull out from the aircraft. According to witnesses, the flight was from Lahore and it tried to land three times at Jinnah International Airport but failed.
On its fourth attempt to land, the plane crashed into the populated Model Colony area. The civil aviation authority of Pakistan said that the plan had 91 passengers and 7 crew members. The pilot reported to the air traffic control that both engines of the aircraft were lost, and that was when the captain made his final mayday call, just moments before the plane crashed.
There were numerous videos of the crash uploaded on social media and it showed the final moments of the plane as it descends, shrieks of the residents can also be heard. The witnesses added that as the plane descended, they felt the walls of their houses tremble and the aircraft was tilted to the side.
After the Pakistan International Plane smashed into houses, plumes of smoke were visible in the skyline. The plane crashed in the densely populated area of Model Colony that was located only two miles from the airport. Depending on how the cabin is configured, the A320 can carry up to 180 passengers.
The second survivor of the crash, Mohammad Zubair, is now recovering in a hospital in Karachi, according to the Sindh provincial government.
The safety record of the Airbus A320
Across the Airbus A320 fleet, there have 119 aviation incidents and accidents. The airlines were designed and produced by Airbus and the first A320 was introduced in 1987.
The first crash happened in 1988 after the captain of an Air France Flight 296 delayed applying power as aircraft climbed away, thus crashing into trees. In the 1990s, four other crashes were reported, including in the Vosges mountains, in Bangalore, Warsaw, and the Philippines.
In the 2000s, nine crashes were reported and between 2011 and 2019 there were 13 more crashes reported. Out of the 119 accidents, 18 of them have been fatal, including more than 1,400 deaths.
The footage of the accidents showed scenes of chaos with burning plane debris and rubble all scattered in the area as hospitals in Karachi prepared for the rush of victims. The Pakistani Army looked for survivors desperately.
The Prime Minister will hold a thorough investigation. There has been speculation that actress and model Zara Abid was one of the victims but there has been no confirmation yet. However, there were tributes being paid to her on Twitter by Pakistani actors and fashion designers.