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Pakistan announces compensation for families of plane crash victims

Published May 23,2020

Pakistani authorities said Saturday the families of the 97 people killed in a plane crash in the southern city of Karachi would receive compensation.

Only two people survived when the Airbus A320 crashed into a narrow residential street moments before its scheduled landing at Jinnah International Airport on Friday.

"Families of those who were killed would receive 1 million rupees each while the two survivors would be given 500,000 each," Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan told reporters after visiting the crash site, announcing compensations of around 6,000 and 3,000 dollars respectively.

On the ground, four of the eight people injured remain hospitalized, provincial health officials said. Some 25 houses were damaged, said ISPR, the Pakistani military's media wing, adding that the residents are being housed by the city administration.

Khan promised that the causes of the crash would be made public and said authorities would attempt to complete a provisional report within three months. "I can assure you that action would be taken against those found responsible for the accident after a free and fair investigation," the minister said.

Survivor Muhammad Zubair told a local TV station that the plane's first attempt at landing failed and it crashed as it attempted a second one.

"After it hit and I regained consciousness, I saw fire everywhere. There were cries everywhere of children, adults and elderly," said Zubair, who suffered burns in the crash.

"I undid my seatbelt and I saw light and tried to walk towards it", he said, adding that he then jumped out from a height of about 3 metres and rescuers took him to hospital.

Meeran Yousaf, a spokesperson for Sindh's Health Ministry, said that 19 bodies had been handed over to their families and 45 DNA samples were collected from families for identification.

Manufacturer Airbus said it was providing technical assistance to Pakistan to investigate the crash.

Arshad Malik, the head of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which operated flight PK 8303, has promised to conduct a transparent probe with Airbus to determine the cause of the crash.

Several world leaders - including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani - expressed their grief upon hearing about the tragedy.

Pakistan resumed domestic flights on May 15 after a coronavirus lockdown. International air travel remains banned until the end of this month.