41 bodies recovered, dozens more feared dead in Pakistan plane crash
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by Ashraf Khan
More than 40 bodies have been recovered after a Pakistani plane crashed with nearly 100 people on board in the southern city of Karachi on Friday, the airline said, with dozens more feared dead.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane had made multiple approaches to land at the city’s airport when it came down among houses, devastating buildings and killing several people on the ground.
The bodies of 41 people had been recovered by Friday evening, the airline’s chief executive Arshad Mahmood Malik said in a press conference, adding that the full clearance operation could last two to three days.
He said only one survivor had been confirmed from the wreckage — the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud.
Provincial officials however reported at least two survivors, and said at least 60 dead bodies had been recovered.
Plumes of smoke were sent into the air as rescue workers and residents searched the debris for people and as firefighters tried to extinguish the flames. An AFP reporter witnessed charred bodies being loaded into ambulances.
Sarfraz Ahmed, a firefighter at the crash site, told AFP the nose of the Airbus A320 and the fuselage had been heavily damaged by the impact, adding that rescuers had pulled bodies from the aircraft who were still wearing seatbelts.
Seemin Jamali, a director from Jinnah Post Graduate Medical College in the city, said the bodies of eight people killed on the ground had been brought to the facility.
Faisal Edhi, who heads the charitable Edhi Foundation that was assisting rescuers said 42 bodies had been recovered from the area.
“As per our estimates there are around 50 more dead bodies under the debris,” he said in a live television broadcast.
The disaster comes as Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages. (AFP)