Pakistan plane crash black box found after 97 killed
Two passengers survived, but 97 bodies were found at the scene, Pakistani Armed Forces spokesman, Major General Babar Iftikhar said earlier on Saturday.
The plane fell in a residential area, but the plane did not touch any building and no one on the ground seems to have been killed, added PIA vice-air marshal Arshad Malik.
Iftikhar said army troops, rangers and welfare organizations had helped with the search.
He added: “97 bodies were recovered. 2 passengers survived. 25 affected houses were cleaned, their residents were housed in various places with the help of the civil administration.”
The plane took off from Lahore and was scheduled to land at 2:30 p.m. local time in Karachi, but has disappeared from the radar, PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan told CNN.
The pilot on board told air traffic control in Karachi that he had lost engines, before the plane crashed on Friday.
“We are proceeding directly, we have lost engines”, can we hear the pilot talking about the approach of the plane, in an audio recording of air communications obtained by CNN from a Pakistani government source.
On the recording, the air traffic control asked the pilot to confirm that the plane was going to land on his stomach, a situation where an airplane landed without deploying its landing gear.
The pilot’s response is inaudible. It is unclear why air traffic control was discussing such a landing.
A few seconds later, the pilot could be heard making several distress calls, followed by an air traffic control response saying that the two runways were free to land. The audio is then cut off.
Khan confirmed the authenticity of the recording.
“[The pilot] he had been told that the two landing strips were available for his use, but he preferred to use the landing strip for the go-around, we are examining the technical problem. Our prayers for the lives lost, “said Khan earlier on Friday.
Sophia Saifi reported from Islamabad and Rob Picheta wrote in London. Adeel Raja, Laura Smith-Spark and Sandi Sidhu contributed to the report.