WORLD Survivor recalls horror of Pakistan plane crash that killed 97

WORLD

Survivor recalls horror of Pakistan plane crash that killed 97

AFP

15:07, May 23, 2020

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Volunteers carry an injured person at the site of a plane crash in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, May 22, 2020. (Photo: AP)

One of the two people to survive a plane crash in Pakistan that killed 97 people has described jumping from the burning wreckage of the aircraft after it hurtled into a residential neighbourhood.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane came down among houses on Friday afternoon after both engines failed as it approached Karachi airport, the airline said. 

Its wings sliced through rooftops, sending flames and plumes of smoke into the air as it crashed onto a street, sparking a rescue operation that lasted into the night.

Commercial flights in the country resumed only days ago, ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, after planes were grounded during a lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

"After it hit and I regained conciousness, I saw fire everywhere and no one was visible," Mohammad Zubair, 24, said from his hospital bed in a video clip circulated on social media. 

"There were cries of children, adults and elderly. The cries were everywhere and everybody was trying to survive. I undid my seat belt and I saw some light and tried to walk towards it. Then I jumped out."

Zubair had suffered burns but was in a stable condition, a health ministry official said.

The airline named the other survivor as the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud.

The health ministry for Sindh province, where the southern port city of Karachi is located, on Saturday confirmed that all 97 bodies recovered from the crash site had been on the plane.

At least 19 had been identified so far, while DNA testing was being carried out at the University of Karachi to help name the rest of the victims. 

A local hospital earlier reported it had received the bodies of people killed on the ground.

The disaster comes as Pakistanis prepare to celebrate the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid, with many travelling to their homes in cities and villages.

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