Pakistan: PIA aircraft with 98 people on board crashes in Karachi one minute before landing

In a tragic news, an aircraft belonging Pakistan International Airlines crashed in a residential area near the Karachi Airport.

The flight PK8303 was en route from Lahore to Karachi and had 90 people aboard along with the eight crew members. 

There's no official word on the number of casualties, however, news agency Reuters qutoed a doctor from the nearby Jinnah Hospital that there at least five dead bodies from the crash.

β€œThe aeroplane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses,” a witness Shakeel Ahmed who was present near the site, just a few kilometres short of the airport, told Reuters.

Initial reports suggest the failure of the landing gear resulted in the crash. The plane is said to be an Airbus A320.

Reportedly, just before the crash, the last words of the pilot were 'my plane has a fault', to which the Air Traffic Controller replied, 'just turn the plane and try to land'.

"The pilot was told that he could land at the Karachi airports, he was told that both the runways were ready, but he took a circle and gave a MayDay call before the crash,” a civil aviation official, Abdul Sattar Khohar, told Reuters.

Video footage shows black smoke rising from the site of the crash. 

The area has been cordoned off by the army and an emergency has been declared in Karachi. Rescue efforts are underway.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter to offer condolences to the faimilies of the deceased. "Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now,” tweeted Imran Khan.

"Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased," he added.