Accessibility links

Breaking News

At Least 12 Killed in Pakistan Plane Crash

Pakistani firefighters struggle to extinguish fire at the site of a plane crash in Karachi, Pakistan, 28 Nov 2010

Pakistani officials say at least 12 people were killed when a Russian-made cargo plane crashed early Sunday in the country's southern city of Karachi.

The Russian-made cargo plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Karachi airport. Authorities say a technical fault may have caused the deadly accident.

A spokesman for Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority, Pervaiz George, says the aircraft was transporting relief supplies to Sudan's capital, Khartoum.

"It took off from Karachi [airport] at 1:45 a.m. in the morning [local time] and as it took off with eight crew members it caught fire and immediately it crashed," he said.

The spokesman says that all eight Russian crew members died. Their mutilated bodies have been recovered from the plane's wreckage.

The cargo aircraft crashed into a housing complex for naval officers. Most of the buildings were under construction and believed to be unoccupied. Authorities say there were several casualties on the ground and that the death toll was likely to increase.

Witnesses say they saw one of the engines on fire before the plane hit the ground. An investigation is underway but the spokesman, Pervaiz George, says the pilot did not communicate any problems to the control tower at Karachi airport.

"There was no conversation regarding this incident or regarding any problem in the aircraft, regarding any problem in the engine," he added.

This was the third plane accident in Pakistan in four months and the second aircraft to crash after taking off from Karachi in several weeks.

A small passenger plane carrying workers of an Italian oil company crashed in Karachi earlier this month shortly after taking off from the airport. All 21 people on board, including crew members, were killed in that accident.

In July, this year, a passenger plane coming from Karachi crashed in the mountains near the capital city of Islamabad, killing 152 people on board.

Both the incidents are under investigation.