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November 5, 2010

Oil Company Charter Plane Crashes in Karachi, Killing 22

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Written by: BNO News
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A small plane carrying more than 20 people crashed in Karachi on early Friday morning, killing everyone on board, Pakistani officials said.

The Beechcraft 1900 aircraft was carrying twenty-one people when it went down at around 7 a.m. local time in the Gulistan-e Jauhar area of Karachi, the country’s largest city.

Pervez George, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said seventeen passengers, one Airport Security Force (ASF) guard, one technician and two pilots were aboard the aircraft, which was flown by Jahangir Siddiqui (JS) Air for Italy-based oil and gas company Eni.

George said the aircraft departed Jinnah International Airport at approximately 7.13 a.m. local time and was en-route to an oil field in Bhit Shah, in the country’s Sindh province. The nationalities of those on board was not immediately released.

The CAA said that, moments after taking off, the pilot of the aircraft reported that one of his engines was not properly working and was told to return to the airport. “When turning back, at the same time, it crashed,” George said.

Footage from the scene, taken just minutes after the crash, showed thick black clouds of smoke rising from the crash site. Firefighters soon brought the blaze under control and recovered all bodies from the wreckage.

Pakistani media reported that the aircraft involved had problems with its engines before the flight and was due to receive repairs. However, the aircraft was still cleared to proceed.

Hours after the crash, JS Air had still not commented on the accident.

Friday’s plane crash in Karachi was the second major air tragedy in Pakistan so far this year. On July 28, 152 people were killed when Airblue Flight 202 crashed in the Margalla Hills near Islamabad.

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