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66 killed as Pak plane with 99 persons on board crashes

 KARACHI, May 22 - At least 66 persons were killed when a Pakistan International Airlines plane with 99 persons on board crashed into a densely populated residential area near the Jinnah International Airport here on Friday, officials said, nearly a week after the COVID-19-induced air travel restrictions were lifted by the government.

 Flight PK-8303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, minutes before its landing, they said. The PIA Airbus A320 was carrying 91 passengers and eight crew members.

It crash-landed into the Jinnah Housing Society located near the airport, a spokesperson of the national carrier said.

Earlier, a PIA spokesperson and many media reports said that there were 107 persons on board the aircraft. Sindh health officials said 66 bodies have been recovered from the crash site.

It is, however, unclear if the deceased were all on board the flight or include residents of the area as well where the crash took place.

Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho said there are two survivors including President of the Bank of Punjab Zafar Masood. He called up his mother to inform her of his well-being. – PTI

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