Early Friday, tragedy struck when a Pakistan International Airlines flight crashed in a residential area in Karachi, killing nearly 100 people.
Pakistani Airlines flight PK 8303 was due to arrive at 2:30 p.m. local time, but most of the passengers never made it home.
CNN is reporting that including crew, 99 people were aboard the plane. By Saturday, authorities said that 97 dead bodies had been recovered.
Two passengers managed to escape the crash. Muhammad Zubair recounted, “When the plane caught fire. I unfastened my seatbelt and saw a light. I came out of the plane, I jumped from nearly 10 feet high.”
What makes the crash even more devastating is the fact that it crashed in a residential area in the city of Karachi. Authorities stated that 25 homes were damaged by the crash and eight people on the ground were injured, but it does appear that nobody on the ground was killed.
CNN also reported that there was one U.S. citizen aboard the plane.
Investigation to come
The cause of the crash is still unknown but Pakistani authorities have promised a full investigation of the incident.
According to the report, the pilot was on approach when things went haywire. On the pilot’s second approach, the pilot reportedly stated that he had lost his engines.
The authorities were able to retrieve the plane’s black box on Saturday, and they hope to get more information as to what caused the engines to fail.
PIA spokesperson Abdullah Kahn stated, “[The pilot] had been told both landing strips were available for his use but he preferred to use the go-around landing route, we are looking into the technical issue. Our prayers for the lives that have been lost.”
Pakistan had only recently loosened its COVID-19 lockdown and the flight was filled with people returning home at the end of the Ramadan holiday.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed his condolences to the people of Pakistan on Friday, stating, “My prayers go out to those killed and injured, and their families. The U.S. stands with Pakistan during this difficult time.”