World

97 dead, 2 survivors from Pakistan plane crash

All but two of the 99 people on board a Pakistan passenger plane were killed when it crashed into a residential neighbourhood of Karachi, officials said on Saturday (May 23), as rescue workers toiled through the charred and twisted wreckage strewn across the street.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane had made multiple approaches to land at Karachi airport on Friday when it came down among houses, sparking a rescue operation that lasted into the night.

The bodies of all the passengers and crew had been recovered, the Sindh Health Ministry said, adding that 19 had been identified.

DNA testing was being carried out at the University of Karachi to help identify the dead.

Flames and plumes of smoke were sent into the air as the plane came down, its wings slicing through rooftops before crashing onto a street.

Residents were the first to search through debris for survivors, with witnesses reporting the cries of a man hanging from the plane's emergency exit door.

A local hospital earlier reported it had received the bodies of people killed on the ground.

PIA said air traffic control lost contact with the plane travelling from Lahore to Karachi just after 2.30pm (5.30pm Singapore time).

The disaster comes as Pakistanis prepare to celebrate the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling to their homes in cities and villages.