- One of only two survivors from a devastating plane crash in Pakistan, which killed almost 100 people Friday, gave a harrowing account of the disaster.
- “All I could see was fire. I couldn’t see any people – just hear their screams,” Muhammad Zubair told Pakistani news.
- Zubair recalled the plane jolting aggressively before the disaster, and then feeling a “hard crash” and losing consciousness.
- The plane, an Airbus A320, was operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and crashed near Jinnah International Airport in Karachi as it tried to land.
- There were 98 people on board and only two survived. One was Zubair, and the other was Zafar Masud, the CEO of one of Pakistan’s biggest banks.
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One of only two survivors from a devastating plane crash in Pakistan,which killed almost 100 people Friday, gave a harrowing account of the experience of being involved in the disaster, saying he could see nothing but fire after the crash.
The plane, an Airbus A320, was operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and crashed near Jinnah International Airport in Karachi as it tried to land.
A spokesman from the civil aviation authority told the Associated Press that the death toll was 98, including 91 passengers and seven crew.
All but two of those on board were killed in the crash, with one, Muhammad Zubair giving an account of what happened to him to Pakistani TV channel Geo News.
Zubair told the channel that shortly before crashing, the plane began to jolt aggressively. “The next moment there was a hard crash and I lost consciousness,” he said on a show hosted by anchor Shahzeb Khanzada.
Before the incident, he said there was no indication that there was anything wrong. “The way things were handled, it seemed we would just make a routine landing,” he told Geo News.
The plane then hit the runway before lurching upwards, Zubair said. At that point: “People began to pray fervently.”
When he came round, Zubair said, all he could see was “smoke and fire.”
“I could hear screams from all directions. Kids and adults. All I could see was fire. I couldn’t see any people – just hear their screams.”
After the crash, Zubair said he followed a small beam of light to try and escape the plane before jumping to the ground.
“I opened my seat belt and saw some light. I went towards the light. I had to jump down about 10 feet to get to safety.”
Alongside Zubair, the only other passenger to survive was Zafar Masud, the CEO of Bank of Punjab, one of Pakistan’s biggest retail banks. Masud is yet to comment publicly on his involvement in the crash, but Geo News reports that his “condition is out of danger.”
Before the crash, a pilot on board the flight had radioed air traffic control to report that both engines had failed, Business Insider’s Bill Bostock reported.
“We have lost two engines. Mayday, mayday, mayday,” the pilot can be heard saying in audio published by Live ATC, a website which gives access to air traffic control radio transmissions.