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pakistan
Saturday May 23 2020
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PM Imran orders urgent probe into PIA plane crash

Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photo: file

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday ordered immediate inquiry into the unfortunate crash of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane A320 resulting in several casualties.

“Shocked and saddened by the PIA crash. Immediate inquiry will be instituted,” the premier wrote on Twitter after the national flag career flight flight PK-8303 crashed in a residential area near Karachi's Jinnah International Airport a few moments before landing.

Ninety-nine were aboard the plane, including 85 passengers.

The prime minister further said that he was in touch with PIA’s CEO Arshad Malik and with the rescue and relief teams working on ground.

Expressing immense grief over the loss of precious lives, the premier extended condolences to the families of the deceased.

"Prayers and condolences go to families of the deceased," read the tweet.

'Nothing can be confirmed until black box is decoded'

Earlier in the day, Pakistan Air Line Pilots' Association (PALPA) said that nothing can be confirmed regarding the plane crash until the black box of the aircraft A320 is decoded.

While talking to Geo News, the PALPA spokesperson Tariq Yahya said that the aircraft was short on power by the end of its journey and was gliding on low altitude.

"When the plane engine fails, the only option is forced landing for which altitude is very important. Unfortunately, the PIA air craft didnot have the required altitude and it crashed on the residential area," Yahya maintained.

Speaking about the safety protocols before the plane embarks its journey, the PALPA official said that the pilot is handed a technical log book filled by the technicians which a pilot goes through before taking off the plane.

Lamenting on the inadequate safety measures for aviation in Pakistan, Yahya said that PALPA had been urging authorities not to compromise on safety guidelines.

Also read: 'We have lost engines': Tragedy as PIA flight PK-8303 crashes in residential area near Karachi

"Constructing high story buildings is the violation of civil aviation rules," he noted.

Airbus to provide assistance

In this regard, Airbus has also confirmed the incident and has extended condolences for all the affectees of the unfortunate plane crash.

Taking to Twitter, the aerospace corporation said that it is providing assistance to the investigation.

"At this stage, Airbus has no confirmed information concerning the circumstances of the accident," the company said in a statement issued later.

"The aircraft, registration number AP-BLD, Manufacturer Serial Number 2274, first entered service in 2004. It has been in operation with Pakistan International Airlines since 2014. The aircraft had logged around 47 100 flight hours and 25 860 flight cycles as of today. It was powered by CFM56-5B4/P engines."

The plane manufacturer said that in line with International Civil Aviation Organization annex 13, Airbus is providing full technical assistance to the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses of France and to the Pakistani Authorities in charge of the investigation.

"Technical support is also being provided by Pakistan International Airlines and engine manufacturer CFM."

"Further updates will be provided as soon as further consolidated information is available and Airbus is authorized to release it," the statement read.