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Many killed in Pakistan plane crash

A Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 flying from Lahore has crashed in the densely populated Model Colony residential area of Karachi.

According to the BBC, Flight PK8303, carrying 91 passengers and eight crew, crashed on approach to the busy Jinnah International Airport.

The provincial health minister said at least 37 fatalities, but a far higher toll is feared. At least 3 passengers survived.

The pilot had reported loss of engines and then issued a Mayday.

An airline spokesman said, the plane had lost contact with air traffic control just after 14:30 local time (09:30 GMT).

Eyewitness Mohammed Uzair Khan told the BBC he had heard a massive sound and went outside his home.

“Almost four houses were completely collapsed, there was so much fire and smoke,” he said. “They are almost my neighbours, I can’t tell you what a horrible thing it was.”

Another eyewitness, Dr Kanwal Nazim said, she heard people screaming and saw clouds of black smoke rising from the three houses adjoining a mosque.

The chief minister of Sindh, the province where the plane crashed, has declared an emergency in all of Karachi’s hospital.

The cause of the crash is yet to be confirmed. PIA chief executive Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik said the pilot had told traffic control that the plane was experiencing “technical difficulties”.

The crash comes just days after the country began allowing commercial flights to resume after a Coronavirus lock-down.

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