The flight data recorder of the Pakistani airliner that crashed in a residential area of Karachi has been found, an official said on Saturday as the death toll rose to 97.
There were two survivors aboard the plane, while no deaths were reported in the densely populated area of the city where the plane crashed on Friday.
Pakistan International Airlines PK 8303, an Airbus A320, was flying from Lahore to Karachi with 99 people on board when it fell in the middle of the afternoon while attempting a second landing attempt.
“The black box was found late yesterday, we are handing it over to the investigation committee,” said PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan. He said this included both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.
Airline general manager Arshad Malik said Friday that the last message received from the pilot indicated a technical problem.
Another senior civil aviation official told Reuters that it appeared the plane was unable to descend its landing gear for the first approach.
Aviation safety experts say that air accidents generally have several causes.
A few seconds before the accident, the pilot told air traffic controllers that he had lost the power of both engines, according to a recording posted on liveatc.net, a respected aviation monitoring website.
Airbus said the plane flew for the first time in 2004 and was equipped with engines built by CFM International, co-owned by General Electric and the French company Safran.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced shortly after the crash that there would be an investigation, and a four-member team was formed Friday evening, according to a notification from the government’s aeronautical division, seen by Reuters.
The team includes three members of the Aircraft Accident Investigation and Investigation Board and a member of the Pakistan Air Force Security Council. The team will release a preliminary statement in a month, the notification says.
A statement from the office of the provincial Minister of Health on Saturday established the death toll at 97, with no confirmed deaths on the ground.
Army and civil administration personnel were cleaning up debris in the Karachi area on Saturday and helping residents whose homes had been damaged.
“Rescue operation in progress … 25 affected houses have been cleaned, their residents have been housed in various places with the help of the civil administration,” the army said on Twitter.
Last week, Pakistan resumed its domestic flights it had suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people traveling for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which is expected to fall Sunday or Monday in the country.
Friday’s crash is Pakistan’s worst air disaster since 2012, when a Bhoja Air passenger plane, a Boeing 737, crashed in Islamabad, killing 127 people.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)