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Pakistan International Airlines plane with 107 people on board crashes in Karachi

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with 107 people on board has crashed in a residential area in the country’s largest city of Karachi, an airline spokesman has said.

Local reports said the state-run airline’s Airbus A320 was travelling from Pakistan’s capital Lahore.

“The plane PK 8303 with 99 passengers and 8 crew members has crashed,” said a spokesman for the national carrier.

It is feared there may be more casualties as the plane came down on houses in the Model Colony area in the city.

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Armed Forces tweeted that helicopters were being used in the search and rescue effort and that paramilitary troops had reached the site, alongside civil administration.


Local TV station Geo showed crowds near the scene which appeared to be a densely populated area and ambulances trying to make their way through. It also showed black smoke billowing above buildings.

Witnesses said the aircraft appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing near Jinnah International Airport.
The residential area on the edge of the airport known as Model Colony is a poor area and heavily congested.

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

Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the crash. The flight typically takes an hour and a half to travel from the northeastern city of Lahore to Karachi.

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