Two people survived the crash of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane that crashed in Karachi, southern Pakistan, Pakistani authorities said on Saturday.
"There were 99 people on board between passengers and crew, of whom 97 died and two survived," spokesman for Karachi commissioner Irfan Hussain told Spanish news agency Efe. Of the 97 dead, 20 have been identified so far by family members.
The Pakistani Army confirmed the number of victims on its Twitter account and added that the rescue operation continues.
The number of people on the plane has caused confusion among Pakistani authorities: initially they said that 107 people were inside the plane, later they pointed to 98 and now they indicated that they were 99, of whom 91 are passengers and seven crew members.
Irfan Hussain also said there were nine injured among residents of the Modelo Cologne residential area, where the plane crashed.
One of the two survivors of the plane that crashed in Pakistan told the hospital of his experience of the accident, which he escaped surrounded by fire and screams from the other passengers.
“The plane crashed. Then, all I saw on the plane was fire. I didn't see people ”, Mohamed Zubair told Pakistani television Geo in the hospital bed, where he is recovering from the accident. “I heard screams in all directions. Screams from children, adults and the elderly, ”continued the patient.
Zubair explained that, after the collision, he took off his seat belt and went to a spot of light he saw. “I went to the light and I was successful. I had to jump about ten feet to get out, ”he said.
Zubair said that when they were approaching Karachi, the pilot announced that they were going to land, but he aborted the operation and tried again 10 or 15 minutes later, without success.
The catastrophe comes a few days after Pakistan has authorized the resumption of domestic commercial flights. For more than a month, domestic calls were suspended to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus and there were rare international flights.
The worst road accident in Pakistan in recent years occurred in 2010. An Airbus 321 from the private company Airblue, flying from Karachi to Islamabad, crashed into the hills just before landing in the capital, killing the 152 people on board.