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Last Updated : May 23, 2020 05:10 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Pakistan plane crash: PIA CEO Arshad Malik says pilots, crew aboard were all qualified

PIA Flight PK8303 crashed just a minute before its landing among houses in the Model Colony residential area on Thursday as it approached Karachi airport, killing 97 people that included nine children.


Following the unfortunate Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK8303’s crash on May 22 that took away 97 lives, Chief Executive Officer of PIA, Arshad Malik, has said that the pilots and cabin crew at the helm were all qualified.

Malik was quoted in a report by Dawn - Pakistan’s leading English daily - as saying, "My pilots were qualified, their checks and balances, and medical tests were complete. My cabin crew was also qualified and my plane's inspection was also complete."

Malik, as per a report by Radio Pakistan, also said that the plane was "technically fit for flying".

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What happened?

PIA Flight PK8303 crashed just a minute before its landing among houses in the Model Colony residential area on Thursday as it approached Karachi airport, killing 97 people that included nine children.

The Pakistan Army, leading the rescue and relief efforts, said 97 bodies have been recovered and two passengers miraculously survived the crash.

The Airbus A320 aircraft of the national carrier had 91 passengers and a crew of eight.

According to the passenger list released by the PIA after the crash, there were 51 men, 31 women and nine children on board the aircraft, Geo News reported. However, details about the crew are not yet known.

The cause of the crash

According to a PIA official, the captain informed the air traffic control that he was having problems with the landing gear before the aircraft disappeared from the radar.

The cause of the crash is yet to be confirmed. PIA chief executive Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik said the pilot had told traffic control that the plane was experiencing "technical difficulties".

The plane came for landing but just before that the pilot said he was going for a go-around. While coming for a second landing, it developed some problems and crashed.

Investigation status

Meanwhile, Pakistan Airlines' Pilots Association (Palpa), pilots representative body, has demanded a thorough investigation into the crash, but at the same time it vowed to continue flights.

“We will not accept the way the investigation (has been) carried out in the past and will not accept any inquiry into this accident without the inclusion of Palpa,” Captain Imran Narejo, the association's general secretary, said.

It called for involving bodies like the International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations in the investigation.

Malik said that the entire operation will take two to three days to complete.

Pakistan has set up a four-member board of inquiry to know the cause of the crash.

Pakistan has a history of terrible air accidents. The last one was in 2016, when a PIA ATR-42 aircraft from Chitral to Islamabad crashed midway. The crash claimed the lives of all 48 passengers and the crew.

The worst was in 2010 when a private AirBlue plane crashed in the Margalla hills adjacent to Islamabad killing 152 people.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published on May 23, 2020 05:10 pm
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