The last conversation recorded between the pilot of the ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane that crashed while making a second attempt to land in Karachi and the Air Traffic Controller has surfaced on a flight-tracking website.
According to an audio clip on website liveatc.net, after the aircraft reportedly called off the first attempt to land and went around for a second attempt, a controller radioed the pilot of flight 8303 that he appeared to be turning left, suggesting he was off-course.
The pilot replied that the flight has lost both engines, reported Reuters.
The controller from the ATC again instructed the pilot and gave a go-ahead for landing at runway 2 or 5 of Jinnah International Airport.
Twelve seconds later, the pilot could be heard declaring “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Pakistan 8303” – the international distress message after which the connection went blank.
Soon after the plane crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir.
The PIA Airbus A320 was carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members that included 31 women and nine children.
At least 37 people have died according to the officials and media reports showed that up to 10 houses and some vehicles were damaged.
Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho said that 34 bodies have so far been shifted to hospitals.
“So far 19 bodies were shifted to Jinnah hospital and 15 to Civil hospital,” she said. The minister said that three survivors have been retrieved from the debris.
Rescue and police officials confirmed that at least four bodies have been recovered from damaged houses so far while several injured people were also being taken to hospitals. However, there were contradictory reports about the exact number of people on board the plane.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar later said that the landing gear of the plane was not working.
Footage showed plumes of smoke rising from the site of the crash. Ambulances and rescue officials arrived at the scene to help residents.
(With inputs from agencies.)