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Flight Recorders Recovered From Pakistani Jet Crash That Killed 97

Rescue workers gather at the site of a passenger plane crash in a residential area near an airport in Karachi on May 22.
Rescue workers gather at the site of a passenger plane crash in a residential area near an airport in Karachi on May 22.

Investigators have recovered the black box flight recorders from the wreckage of a Pakistani International Airlines (PIA) jet that crashed in Karachi killing 97 people.

Company spokesman Abdullah Khan said on May 23 that Flight PK8303’s two recorders, located a day earlier, would be turned over to civil aviation authorities.

Provincial health officials earlier said that two of the 99 people on board the Airbus A320 had survived.

There were reports that people had been killed on the ground, but it was unclear how many and whether their bodies had been recovered.

The jet was traveling from the eastern city of Lahore when it crashed May 22 on its second approach to Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport.

Pakistani Passenger Jet Crashes Near Karachi
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One of the survivors, Muhammad Zubair, told Geo TV that the plane came in for one landing, briefly touched down, then took off again.

About 10 minutes later the pilot announced to passengers that he was going to make a second attempt, then crashed on the approach to the runway, Zubair said, according to Geo TV.

The plane was flying smoothly and no one was aware it was about to crash, the BBC quoted Zubair as saying.

The plane had developed a technical fault, according to Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, who said the pilot issued a mayday call after the aircraft lost an engine.

The airline's CEO, Arshad Mahmood Malik, identified one survivor as the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud.

The bank said he had suffered fractures but was "conscious and responding well."

'Our Hour Of Grief'

Airbus said in a statement that the plane had first entered service in 2004 and was acquired by PIA a decade later. It had logged around 47,100 flight hours.

Airbus added that it had no confirmed information about the accident.

The crash occurred as Muslims prepared to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Many Pakistanis are travelling back to their homes in cities and villages for the holiday.

It also came days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights to resume following a coronavirus lockdown.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was "shocked and saddened" by the crash.

"The people of Pakistan value this support and solidarity in our hour of grief," he wrote on Twitter.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and the BBC
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