Fifteen people were killed when a small military plane crashed on early Tuesday (July 30) into a residential area in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi near the capital Islamabad, a rescue official said.
“A small plane crashed into a residential area. So far we have retrieved 15 dead bodies, including 10 civilians and five crew members,” rescue spokesman Farooq Butt said, adding that 12 more people had been injured.
The plane belonged to the Pakistani military and crashed near an upscale neighbourhood in the garrison city home to the army’s headquarters. An AFP reporter at the scene said that smoke was still rising from the wreckage and destroyed homes, while pieces of the plane were visible on a nearby roof.
Military officials had cordoned off the scene while a crowd of local residents stood nearby, with some sobbing. Pakistan has a chequered aviation safety record, with plane and helicopter crashes frequent over the years.
In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while travelling from remote northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.
The deadliest air disaster on the Pakistani soil was in 2010 when an Airbus 321 operated by private airline Airblue and flying from Karachi crashed into the hills outside Islamabad while coming in to land, killing all 152 onboard.