Volunteers look for survivors of a plane that crashed in a residential area of ​​Karachi, Pakistan, May 22, 2020. An aviation official says a passenger plane belonging to state-run Pakistan International Airlines carrying more than 100 passengers and crew has crashed near the southern port city of Karachi. - FAREED KHAN / AP / SIPA

The crash, on May 22, of an Airbus A320 of the company PIA in Karachi, which left 97 dead, is due to the "negligence" of the pilots, victims of an "overconfidence", and the air traffic controllers, Pakistani Aviation Minister said on Wednesday. "There has been negligence on both sides," said Ghulam Sarwar Khan, who presented his first report to the parliament. "The pilot ignored the instructions of the air traffic controllers, who for their part did not report the damage" that a first failed landing attempt had caused to the plane, he explained.

Throughout the landing phase, "the pilot and the co-pilot were not concentrated and throughout the conversation, they talked about the corona. The virus was in their minds, their family was affected and they were discussing it, "said Mr. Khan, based on the tapping of the plane's black boxes carried out in France." When (the pilot) reached the point of 'landing, the control tower told him' 'you are too high, you must descend' '. He quickly listened to the call and said, "I will get through it." Then he started talking again about the coronavirus, "said the minister, pointing to" the overconfidence "of the pilots and their lack of" concentration ".

The landing gear retracted

The plane, the landing gear retracted, then tried a first time to land, its engines touching the ground three times, before taking off for a second aborted attempt, according to Ghulam Sarwar Khan. The control tower "should have informed (the pilots) when it saw the aircraft land on its engines and noticed the fire coming out of the engines, but it did not do so," he said. he regrets.

The aircraft eventually crashed into a residential area, killing 97 of the 99 people on board, including eight crew members. A recording authenticated shortly after the accident by a PIA spokesperson had heard a pilot's distress call to the control tower, in which he declared: "We have lost the engines".

The Pakistan International Airlines A320 flew between Lahore and Karachi. Her cabin crashed a short distance from the airstrip in a residential area.


Pakistan: At least 97 dead in passenger plane crash in Karachi over residential area


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