The passenger death toll from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303, which crashed on Friday afternoon after sending a distress call, has risen to 97, marking it as the third most catastrophic aviation disaster in Pakistan’s history.
Only two survived the crash — the chief executive of the Bank of Punjab and a young engineer.
The Karachi-bound flight from Lahore had been seconds away from landing at the Karachi airport when it crashed in the residential Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, right outside the airport’s boundary wall.
Ninety-nine were aboard the plane when it crashed into a narrow residential street, dealing significant damage to houses in a densely populated area. Thankfully, there were no deaths on the ground.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), 25 houses in Model Colony, the site of the crash, had been cleared while a search and rescue operation was still underway. The residents had been accommodated at various places with the assistance of the civil administration, it added.
The Sindh Health Department confirmed that 66 bodies had been shifted to Jinnah Hospital, of which 20 bodies were of women and 43 of men. Three bodies of children had also been brought to the hospital.
The provincial health department said 50 bodies at the hospital were yet to be identified, while 16 bodies had been identified.
The health department further said that the remaining 31 bodies had been moved to Civil Hospital, of which six bodies were of women and 25 of men. It said 28 of bodies kept at the hospital have yet to be identified while the process of identification had been completed for three.
Separately, rescue officials said some bodies had later been shifted from the Civil and Jinnah Hospitals to an Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth and the Chhipa morgue at FTC.
“DNA samples were taken from the bodies before being shifted to the morgues,” officials said, adding that 96 bodies were at the morgues, while one had been handed over to the deceased’s relatives.