Incredible moment a baby is rescued from wreckage on live TV after plane crashed into residential area in Pakistan
All 107 passengers onboard Flight PK8303 died after it crashed into a residential area near Karachi airport
A baby was reportedly pulled alive from the Pakistan plane crash impact area and the incredible moment was captured on camera during live reporting from the scene. Rescuers waved onlookers out of the way when a local news reporter was broadcasting from the scene behind a police cordon. Just moments later, an emergency aid worker emerged out of the thick smoke, with a baby wriggling in his arms. All 107 passengers onboard Flight PK8303 died after it crashed into houses some distance away from Karachi's main airport, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said.
But a number of families have claimed they had been contacted by loved ones who were on the jet following the crash, claiming they were still alive. According to the Daily Mirror, the baby belongs to a family whose house is in the area and was buried under the rubble in the aftermath of the crash. Grim footage from the scene shows fires burning in a narrow street with debris scattered on the streets. Ambulances are seen rushing through the chaos.
The jet was identified as a 15-year-old Airbus A320, according to flight-tracking website flightradar24.com. It was reportedly flying from Lahore to Karachi just as Pakistan was resuming domestic flights amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "The last we heard from the pilot was that he has some technical problem," PIA spokesman Abdullah H. Khan said. "He was told from the final approach that both the runways were ready where he can land, but the pilot decided that he wanted to do (a) go-round ... It is a very tragic incident."
Speaking to Reuters, a senior civil aviation official said it appeared that the jet was unable to disengage its wheels due to a technical fault prior to landing. However, they said it was too early to determine the exact cause.
Meanwhile, a source at the airport told CBS News that the pilot had informed ground control that one of the plane's two engines had failed. The control tower then told the pilot that two runways were clear for landing, but then lost communication with the crew. The plane crashed a short while later. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted his condolences and wrote, "Shocked and saddened by the PIA crash. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers and condolences go to families of the deceased."
The casualty count could exceed the number of those aboard the plane, with CBS News' Maria Usman revealing that the plane had crashed into a residential neighborhood called Jinnah Gardens which was located close to the Karachi Airport. Local media reported that at least 17 bodies had been transported to an area hospital. "I heard a big bang and woke up to people calling for the fire brigade," one nearby resident told the Daily Mail.
"I was coming from the mosque when I saw the plane tilting on one side. The engines' sounds were quite weird. It was so low that the walls of my house were trembling," another added. The tragic crash comes as millions across the country are rearing to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, and are currently traveling back to their homes in cities and villages.