KARACHI: An Airbus team of investigators arrived in Karachi on Tuesday to probe the reasons for a plane crash involving a Pakistan International Airlines' (PIA) flight five days ago, a PIA spokesman told Arab News.
"The team arrived at Karachi airport at 5:38 am and will visit the spot of the accident after a briefing later during the day,” Abdullah Khan said.
The A320 Airbus was carrying 99 passengers from Lahore on PK 8303 when it crashed in a densely-populated residential area of Karachi, near the Jinnah International Airport, on Friday, just 22 minutes before landing.
The 11-member team of french experts, representing the European aircraft manufacturer, will assist the Pakistani side in investigating the incident.
Two passengers miraculously survived the tragic incident which claimed the lives of 97 people on board. No fatalities were reported on the ground, however, where several houses were damaged in a narrow street.
“The (Airbus) team will visit the (crash) site in the Model Colony area of the city as shifting of the plane’s debris from the site has also been stopped,” Radio Pakistan reported.
Pakistan’s seven-member team has already started investigating the incident.
It was the second PIA plane crash in less than four years. In 2016, a domestic flight of the national air career from Chitral to Islamabad crashed in a hilly area in which all 47 passengers and crew members lost their lives.
Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said after the crash that “Captain Sajjad Gull (who was flying the plane) was senior most A320 pilot with extensive flight experience.” He added that “the aircraft involved in the crash was 16 years old and was in a very good condition.”
According to the minister, the A320 joined the PIA fleet on dry lease six years ago and underwent its major A-check in March 2020.
“The aircraft carried out eight flights since 21st March, 2020, when the domestic and international flights were suspended in view of efforts to control the spread of COVID-19,” he informed.