Cabin map shows Pakistan crash survivors' seats

Two seats of Pakistan crash’s miracle survivors: Cabin map shows where engineer and bank manager were sitting when PIA Airbus A320 plowed into houses in Karachi killing 97 people around them

  • Zafar Masud, seat 1C, and Mohammad Zubair, seat 10C, both survived the devastating plane crash in Karachi 
  • Nineteen of the 97 bodies have been identified and funeral prayers were held for the victims across the city   
  • Witnesses saw the plane attempt to land up to three times before the crash happened on its fourth attempt
  • The captain told air traffic control he had lost one of his engines and made a final desperate mayday call 
  • Emergency authorities including the military have been deployed in a bid to find survivors
  • The plane’s pilot Sajjad Gull was the senior most A320 pilot in PIA, with extensive flight experience
  • Videos and photos show a wrecked plane door with flaming rubble and debris strewn across the area

A passenger list from the doomed Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 has revealed where the two survivors were sitting when the aircraft plowed into a residential neighbourhood in Karachi.  

Nineteen of the 97 bodies recovered from the wreckage have been identified and were collected by loved ones for funeral prayers this morning. 

Two men survived the devastating crash – President of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud, was sitting in seat 1C, and was filmed being pulled alive from the smoking wreck.

The second survivor, engineer Mohammad Zubair, 24, who was sitting in seat 10C, spoke from his hospital bed in a video clip circulated on social media.  

‘After it hit and I regained conciousness, I saw fire everywhere and no one was visible,’ Zubair said. 

Bank of Punjab president Zafar Masood, who was in seat 1C when the plane crashed, was dragged from the smoking debris of the Pakistan International Airlines flight after it smashed into houses in Karachi yesterday

The other survivor, engineer Muhammad Zubair, told Geo News the pilot came down for one landing, briefly touched down, then took off again

A huge fireball was then witnessed before a thick black plume of smoke could be seen rising into the air

‘The cries were everywhere and everybody was trying to survive. I undid my seat belt and I saw some light and tried to walk towards it. Then I jumped out.’

The passenger list from the PIA Airbus A320 show that Masud was sitting at the very front of the plane and Zubair was behind the bulkhead, 10 seats back.   

Masud suffered fractures but was ‘conscious and responding well’, the Bank of Punjab said. 

The other survivor, engineer Zubair, told Geo News the pilot came down for one landing, briefly touched down, then took off again.

After around 10 more minutes of flying, the pilot announced to passengers he was going to make a second attempt, then crashed as he approached the runway, Zubair said from his bed in Civil Hospital Karachi.

‘All I could see around was smoke and fire,’ he added. ‘I could hear screams from all directions. Kids and adults. All I could see was fire. I couldn’t see any people just hear their screams.’

The other 97 passengers and crew are believed to have died. 

‘Thank you so much. God has been merciful,’ Mr Masood, the banker who was in seat 1C said, according to officials who spoke to him in hospital after the crash.  

Mourning families were pictured carrying their loved ones from local hospitals for funeral services today, on the morning of Eid – the celebration of the end of Ramadan.  

Relatives of Pakistani Army Major Adnan, a victim of plane crash, attend his funeral a day after a passenger plane of state run Pakistan International Airlines, crashed in a residential colony, in Karachi, Pakistan, today 

A rescue worker checks bodies of the victims the day after a passenger plane of state run Pakistan International Airlines crashed in a residential area, at a mortuary in Karachi, Pakistan today

People mourn around the body of their relative, who was killed in the Friday’s plane crash, at a morgue in Karachi, Pakistan, today. An aviation official says a passenger plane belonging to state-run Pakistan International Airlines carrying passengers and crew has crashed near the southern port city of Karachi

Relatives attend the funeral of the victims a day after a passenger plane of state run Pakistan International Airlines, crashed on a residential colony, in Karachi, Pakistan today

Relatives of a plane crash victim recover the body a day after a passenger plane of state run Pakistan International Airlines crashed on a residential colony in Karachi, Pakistan today 

‘Eid has become meaningless not only for Karachi but the whole of Pakistan,’ said Zia ul Huq Qamar, who lives near the crash site.

Several members of the armed forces who were flying home to their families to celebrate the holiday were among the dead, the military said.

Shahbaz Hussain said his mother, who was also among the victims, had been flying back to Karachi after becoming stranded by the lockdown in Lahore while visiting her daughters.

The University of Karachi is collecting the DNA of the remaining bodies in the hopes of identifying them. 

An airline spokesman said today that the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been recovered  and will be handed over to an inquiry board for an investigation.

Witnesses said the flight from Lahore had made three failed attempts to land at Jinnah International Airport before ploughing into the Model Colony area of the city on a fourth landing attempt. 

Pakistan’s civil aviation authority said the plane had 91 passengers and a crew of seven. 

The pilot told air traffic control that he had lost both of his engines and a recording has emerged of the captain making a final mayday call before the crash. The Airbus A320-214 model uses a CFM56 engine made by CFM International, a joint venture between US-based General Electric and France’s Safran. 

A photo of the aircraft on approach also shows that the landing gear is still up and black scorch marks under each engine. 

The air traffic control recording starts after the pilot has already made one failed landing attempt. 

In this picture taken today and released by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), Pakistan’s Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Awana (C-R in black jacket) visits along with Governor of Province Sindh, Imran Ismail (C-L in blue jacket), at the site a day after a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft crashed in a residential area in Karachi

People carry the casket of the victims of Friday’s plane crash for funeral prayers in Karachi, Pakistan today

This picture shared by plane enthusiasts in Pakistan today shows the aircraft shortly before the crash, after it suffered an apparent engine failure. Black scorch marks can be seen beneath each engine and the landing gear is still up

A bulldozer works in the wreckage of the Pakistan International Airlines crash today after the Airbus A320 smashed into a residential area of Karachi on Friday 

This was the scene as emergency crews rushed to the scene of the plane crash in the Model Colony in Karachi 

Volunteers carry an injured woman from the crash site after a Pakistan International Airlines came down in a residential area

The plane had been flying from Lahore to Jinnah, which usually takes 90 minutes, before it went down in the Model Colony area as it began its final approach to land at Karachi airport 

The pilot says: ‘We are proceeding direct, sir – we have lost engine’.

‘Confirm your attempt on belly,’ the air traffic controller said, offering a runway.

‘Sir, mayday, mayday, mayday, mayday Pakistan 8303,’ the pilot said before the transmission ended.   

Videos uploaded on social media show the plane’s final moments as it steadily descends to the shrieks of terrified residents. Witnesses say the plane was so low they felt the walls of their houses tremble and saw the plane tilted on one side.  

The chequered safety record of CFM56 engine mounted on Airbus A320 

According to Flightradar24, the particular model which crashed today was an Airbus A320-214, which uses an engine called a CFM56-5B4. 

CFM International is a joint venture between General Electric of the United States and France’s Safran. 

The failure of a pair of CFM engines  was blamed for the Kegworth air disaster in 1989, when 47 people were killed after a Boeing 737 crashed into a motorway embankment in Leicestershire. 

A fan blade in one of the engines failed around 13 minutes into the British Midland Airways flight, investigators said. 

The engine was subsequently modified and cleared to fly again. 

In 2018, a CFM56 engine on Southwest flight 1380 blew apart over Pennsylvania about 20 minutes after the Dallas-bound flight left New York. The explosion sent shrapnel ripping into the fuselage of the Boeing 737-700 plane and shattered a window. One person died. 

Plumes of smoke smothered the skyline after the Pakistan International Airlines plane smashed into houses among the poor and densely populated area of Model Colony that is two miles from the airport.

The A320 can carry up to 180 passengers, depending on how its cabin is configured. 

The Sindh provincial government press department later distributed a photo depicting a second survivor identified as Mohammad Zubair, recovering in a Karachi hospital. 

Safety record of the Airbus A320…

There have been 119 aviation incidents and accidents across the Airbus A320 fleet. 

The narrow-body airliners are designed and produced by Airbus, and the first A320 was launched in 1987. 

The fleet’s first crash happened just a year later in 1988 after the captain of an Air France Flight 296 delayed applying full power as he climbed away, crashing into trees beyond the runway. 

Four further crashes happened in the 1990s, including in Bangalore, the Vosges mountains, Warsaw, and the Philippines. 

Nine incidents took place in the 2000s and a further 13 happened between 2011 and 2019. 

It is believed that 18 of the accidents have been fatal, including more than 1,400 deaths. 

A total of 47 hull loss incidents – when the plane is damaged beyond repair – have occurred among the fleet.

Footage showed scenes of chaos with burning rubble and plane debris strewn across the area as hospitals ready themselves for a flurry of victims and the Pakistani Army desperately hunts for survivors. The Prime Minister has pledged to hold an ‘immediate inquiry’ into the crash.

In Pakistan there is fevered speculation that model and actress Zara Abid, who has more than 80,000 Instagram followers, was one of the victims but this has not been confirmed. 

However, tributes were being paid to her on Twitter by Pakistani fashion designers and actors.

The official statement confirmed two survivors and said that 17 of the bodies had been ‘identified so far.’

Earlier the airline’s chief executive Arshad Mahmood Malik said in a press conference that only one survivor had been confirmed from the wreckage – the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud.   

The Airbus had been flying from Lahore to Jinnah, which usually takes 90 minutes, before it went down in the Model Colony area as it began its final approach to land at Karachi airport.

‘The last we heard from the pilot was that he has some technical problem,’ a PIA spokesman revealed. 

‘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.’ 

A recording posted on monitoring website liveatc.net reveals the pilot told controllers the plane had lost power from both its engines on its second attempt to land.

As it called off an earlier attempt to land and tried for a second time, a controller radioed the pilot and told him he appeared to be turning left, suggesting he was off-course.

The pilot replied, ‘We are returning back, sir, we have lost engines,’ and the controller cleared the plane to land on either of Karachi airport’s two West-Southwest-facing runways.

Twelve seconds later the pilot cried ‘Mayday, Mayday, Mayday’ and was again cleared to use either runway.

A resident of the area, Abdul Rahman, said he saw the aircraft circle at least three times, appearing to try and land before it crashed into several houses and caused roofs to cave in. 

‘The aeroplane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses,’ witness Shakeel Ahmed said near the site, a few miles short of the airport. 

The Sindh provincial health department said it had recovered 57 bodies, while PIA chairman Arshad Malik said finding all the dead could take two to three days. 

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sources said the captain had reported a technical fault before the plane vanished from the radar.  

They told News One that communication with the plane was cut off one minute before it was scheduled to touch down.

In Pakistan there is fevered speculation that model and actress Zara Abid, who has more than 80,000 Instagram followers, was one of the victims but this has not been confirmed

However, airworthiness documents showed the plane last received a government check on Nov. 1, 2019. 

PIA’s chief engineer signed a separate certificate April 28 saying all maintenance had been conducted. It said ‘the aircraft is fully airworthy and meets all the safety’ standards. 

Seemin Jamali, executive director at the nearby Jinnah Hospital, said 17 dead bodies and six wounded people had been brought in. Three people who were on the ground in the area where the plane crashed were injured. 

Rescue workers and local residents pulled people from the debris as firefighters battled to put out the flames.

‘I heard a big bang and woke up to people calling for the fire brigade,’ said Karachi resident Mudassar Ali. 

Teenager Hassan said: 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.’ 

CCTV appears to show the moment the plane crashed into the residential area of Karachi

A relative of one of the victims was pictured standing outside a mobile morgue which was parked near the scene

Rescue workers also used stretchers to carry bodies from the wreckage of the crashed airliner

Another of the survivors, Mohammed Zubair, was pictured in hospital in Karachi as he was spoken to by Pakistani minister Saeed Ghani 

The plane wreaked devastation when it ploughed into a poor residential area

Emergency responders spray the wreckage of the Airbus A320 after it crashed into houses in the densely populated Model Colony area of Karchi

Pieces of the wrecked plane lie among the burnt debris at the crash site in Karachi after the crash today 

Rescue workers descend on the site of the passenger plane crash in a residential area near an airport in Karachi, Pakistan

Rescuers have pulled a number of people from the debris caused by the crash. It is understood that two passengers survived the crash

A wrecked door from the plane is seen in the residential area of Karachi Model Colony where the Airbus A320 crashed 

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted: ‘Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now.

‘Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.’

The crash comes as Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages.  

Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the crash. The flight typically takes an hour and a half from the northeastern city of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab, to Karachi.  

The plane which crashed is pictured above flying above Dubai International Airport in 2017 

A rescuer was seen carrying a baby from the disaster scene. The child is believed to have been from a family living in the residential area where the plane came down


Photos of burning rubble were circulated online in the immediate aftermath of the crash (left) as the Pakistani army is pictured above right rescuing a young child covered in ash 

Officials sift through the wreckage of the passenger plane as they work next to one of the fallen aircraft’s engines

The battered remains of the plane’s engine can be seen above mere moments after the crash 

This was the scene of devastation as fire brigade staff used jet hoses to put out the fire. The plane crashed down as it approached Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport


Plumes of smoke billow after the Pakistan International Airlines plane smashed into the residential area 


A burning car in the aftermath of the crash sits among rubble (left) as plumes of smoke billow in the air (right) 


The crash comes just days after the country began allowing commercial flights to resume

 

Emergency crews inspect the destruction as they stand in the rubble after the plane smashed into buildings on Friday


Video footage that has appeared online appears to show the low-flying plane low over houses (left)  moments before the fatal crash (right) as smoke bursts into the air

The jet has been indentified by tracking website flightradar24.com as a 15-year-old Airbus A320.

In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while flying from the remote northern to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.

PIA, one of the world’s leading airlines until the 1970s, now suffers from a sinking reputation due to frequent cancellations, delays and financial troubles. It has been involved in numerous controversies over the years, including the jailing of a drunk pilot in Britain in 2013.

The crash comes as Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages.


A child survivor, with its cheek and head bandaged, looks on at the unfolding horror (left) while a Pakistani Army soldier (right) leads another away from the scene  

A victim is taken away on a body board as medics scramble to find survivors 

Hospital staff prepare to receive the victims of the passenger plane crash

Ambulances arrive at the scene  ready to rush victims to hospital 

Police have also been spotted blasting water on the charred remains of the aircraft

Emergency authorities have been scrambled to the scene in a desperate attempt to find survivors injured in the crash 

A plume of smoke is seen in the aftermath of the crash 

Arshad Malik, PIA boss, posted a message of condolence on Twitter

The Pakistan military tweeted that security forces had been deployed to the area and helicopters were being used to survey the damage and help ongoing rescue operations. 

The crash comes just days after the country began allowing commercial flights to resume.  

Pakistan has a chequered military and civilian aviation safety record, with frequent plane and helicopter crashes over the years.  

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