The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane, coming from the city of Lahore, was about to land at Jinnah International Airport, the largest in the country, when it fell and crashed into the houses of Colonia Modelo, a residential neighborhood. from Karachi, the most populous city in Pakistan. The impact caused an explosion that caused serious damage. At least eight people died, but rescue teams continue to work at the scene.
The Model Colony is located on the fringes of the city of 14.9 million inhabitants, east of Jinnah International Airport. According to the last census, 380,000 people live in this neighborhood, recognized as one of the most residential and quiet in the mega city.
The neighborhood was originally designed by Fatima Jinnah, sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan.. Specialists in the history of Karachi tell that Fatima asked a renowned urban planner to design a plan for a “Model Colony Muhajir"As Muslim immigrants from India and their descendants are known.
Until the mid-1980s, many members of Karachi's elite lived in this neighborhood, which had become very exclusive. However, since then, its appearance began to change, largely due to the sustained increase in population and the ethnic conflicts that became common in its surroundings.
Although in recent years she regained the peace that had characterized her, Colonia Modelo ceased to be that exclusive neighborhood that it had originally been and became a more diverse neighborhood, with residents of different social sectors.
But the usual calm of the neighbors was suddenly interrupted this Friday by the tragic plane crash that occurred. Several residents who were consulted by local media reported that its walls began to shake seconds before a huge explosion occurred, immediately after the aircraft crashed into the neighborhood.
“I was coming from the mosque when I saw the plane leaning to one side. The sounds of the engines were quite strange. I was flying so low that the walls of my house were shaking, ”said Hassan, a 14-year-old boy who saw everything that happened. Mudassar Ali, another resident, said that "he heard a great noise and woke up with people calling the fire brigade.".
Seemin Jamali, director of the Jinnah Graduate Medical College in the city, said eight dead and 15 wounded had been brought to the facility. "They all came from the ground, no passengers (from the plane) have been brought here," he said.
PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said there were 91 passengers and seven crew members on board the flight., who lost contact with air traffic control just after 2.30 p.m. (0930 GMT). Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah said the plane had developed a technical failure and that the pilot had said the ship had lost an engine and issued a distress call.
The disaster came as Pakistanis across the country prepare to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, and many of them return to their homes in cities and towns.
With information from AFP
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