Karachi | Jagran News Desk: In a horrifying incident a Pakistani International Airlines (PIA) plane, carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members, crashed near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on Friday afternoon.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, as reported by AP, said that all 107 people onboard were killed in the incident, adding that at least five or six houses were destroyed in the crash. Following the incident, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his grief and said that an immediate inquiry will be instituted.

"Shocked and saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi and with the rescue and relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers and condolences go to families of the deceased," he tweeted.

Pakistan Minister of Health and Population Welfare has also declared emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi after the incident.

According to Jinnah Airport officials, the plane ‚Äď an Airbus A320 ‚Äď was scheduled to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, just a minute before its landing.

The officials further said that the pilot had informed the air traffic tower that he was having problems with the landing gear before disappearing from the radar.

"The plane lost contact with the airport at 2.37 PM (local time). However, it is too early to say about the technical problems faced by the plane," PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez said, as reported by news agency PTI.

"All my prayers are with the families. We will continue to provide information in a transparent manner," Hafeez added.

Meanwhile, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar said that the landing gear of the plane was not working.

Several videos of the incident went viral on social media, showing several houses and cars damaged in the society where the aircraft crashed. An eye witness said that the aircraft had fire coming from its wings which crashed into rooftops of some houses before it crash landed, reported Ary News.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that Army Quick Reaction Force and Sindh Pakistan Rangers reached the spot for carrying out rescue and relief operations alongside civil administration.

"Pak Army Aviation helicopters flown for damage assessment and rescue efforts. Urban Search & Rescue Teams are being sent on site for rescue efforts," ISPR said.

The incident occurred on a day when Pakistan's interior ministry announced Eid holidays from May 22 to May 27.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma