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Sunday, May 24, 2020

‘We have lost an engine’: Pakistan plane pilot’s last distress call before crash

In the audiotapes, Gul could be heard calmly telling the air traffic controllers, "We have lost an engine…. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday.”

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 23, 2020 8:44:48 am
pakistan plane crash, pia plane pilot, sajjad gul, pakistan plane crash videos, karachi plane crash, pakistan pilot, pakistan plane passengers, pakistan plane crash indian express Fire brigade staff try to put out fire caused by a plane crash in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, May 22, 2020. An aviation official says a passenger plane belonging to state-run Pakistan International Airlines carrying more than 100 passengers and crew has crashed near the southern port city of Karachi. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane carrying 98 people onboard crashed into a residential area near the Jinnah International Airport on Friday. Moments before the plane crashed, the pilot, Sajjad Gul, had told the air traffic controllers that the aircraft had lost an engine, according to audiotapes of his last conversation played by Pakistan’s ARY news channel.

In the audiotapes, Gul could be heard calmly telling the air traffic controllers, “We have lost an engine…. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday.” The controllers asked him to land on any of the two runways that had been left open for him but he went for a go-around, PIA chief executive officer Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik said. Moments later, the communication between the pilot and the controllers snapped and the plane eventually crashed into the residential area.

The PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez confirmed the crash, adding that PK 8303 was carrying 90 passengers and 8 crew members from Lahore to Karachi.

Ambulances and rescue officials have been pressed into service to help residents. Expressing shock over the incident, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said rescue and relief teams were on the ground and an immediate inquiry would be instituted. He also gave his condolences to the families of the deceased.

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