A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane carrying at least 107 passengers has crashed near a residential area close to Karachi airport in Pakistan.
PIA spokesperson Abdul Sattar confirmed A-320 was flying from Lahore to Karachi and confirmed the number of passengers.
"The plane crashed in Karachi. We are trying to confirm the number of passengers but initially it is 99 passengers and eight crew members," said Mr Sattar, according to CNN.
The plane reportedly crashed just before landing, damaging homes, Radio Pakistan reported.
"The last we heard from the pilot was that he has some technical problem," PIA spokesman Abdullah H. Khan said in a video statement.
"It is a very tragic incident.
A senior civil aviation official told Reuters it appeared the plane was unable to open its wheels due to a technical fault prior to landing, but it was to early to determine the cause.
Footage shared online shows large plumes of smoke in the air near the crash site and emergency services rushing to the site.
#BREAKING: A passenger plane of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crashed on Friday afternoon in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi, local media reported. There are no reports about how many passengers were on board. #pakistan #airlines pic.twitter.com/7XL5egqEya— Wahid Bhat (@wahidbhat32) May 22, 2020
Local publication Dawn has reported the Army Quick Reaction Force and Sindh Pakistan Rangers have reached the site and begun rescue efforts alongside civil administration.
Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar has ordered the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board to conduct an "immediate inquiry" into the crash.
The Minister of Health & Population Welfare declared an emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi due to the plane crash.
The number of casualties is not yet known.
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