Smoke smoke seen after PIA plane crash in Karachi, Pakistan, May 22, 2020. TWITTER / SHAHABNAFEES via REUTERS
KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) ̵
The state carrier said flight PK 8303 crashed with 99 passengers and eight crew members on board, although civil aviation officials said the total for both could be 99.
“The last we heard from the pilot was that he had a technical problem,” PIA spokesman Abdullah H. Khan said in a video statement. “It’s a very tragic incident.
A senior civil aviation official told Reuters it appeared the plane could not open its wheels due to a technical failure before landing, but the cause had to be determined early.
The Geo TV broadcaster showed crowds near the scene, which looked like a densely populated area, and ambulances trying to break through.
Black smoke billowed and several cars caught fire.
The Pakistani military says its rapid reaction force and paramilitary forces have reached the scene of relief and rescue efforts along with civilian administration.
Asif Shahzad reported from Islamabad; Edited by Toby Chopra and Andrew Coutorne