KARACHI: One of the two people to survive a plane crash in Karachi that killed 97 people has described jumping from the burning wreckage of the aircraft after it hurtled into a residential neighborhood.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane came down among houses on Friday after both engines failed as it approached Karachi airport, the airline said.
Its wings sliced through rooftops, sending flames and plumes of smoke into the air as it crashed onto a street, sparking a rescue operation that lasted into the night.
Commercial flights in the country resumed only days ago, ahead of Eidul Fitr, after planes were grounded during a lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
“After it hit and I regained consciousness, I saw fire everywhere and no one was visible,” Mohammad Zubair, 24, said from his hospital bed in a video clip circulated on social media.
“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.”
Zubair had suffered burns but was in a stable condition, a health ministry official said.
The airline named the other survivor as the president of the Bank of Punjab, Zafar Masud.
The health ministry for Sindh on Saturday confirmed that the 97 bodies recovered from the crash site had been on the plane.
At least 19 had been identified so far, while DNA testing was being carried out at the University of Karachi to help name the rest of the victims.
A local hospital earlier reported it had received the bodies of people killed on the ground.
The disaster comes as Pakistanis prepare to celebrate Eid, with many traveling to their homes in cities and villages.
“Eid has become meaningless not only for Karachi but the whole of Pakistan,” said Ziaul 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.