Karachi, May 24, 2020: Zafar Masud and Muhammad Zubair who have miraculously survived, a provincial government spokesman Abdur Rashid Channa said in a statement.
Masud has sustained fractures on his hip and collar bones as per the Darul Sehat Hospital’s administration and has spoken to his mother on the phone and informed her about his health.
Zubair, 24, was one of two survivors among the 99 people – 91 passengers and eight crew – onboard the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane that crashed into a residential area of Karachi on Friday after an engine failed on approach to the runway.
The last thing Muhammad Zubair can remember before the plane hit the ground is the acrid smell of jet fuel and the cries of fellow passengers as flames began to engulf the cabin.
As he struggled to unbuckle his seatbelt with fire blazing beneath his chair, Zubair said he “followed the light and got to this hole and I jumped out on to the wing, and then to the ground”.
Bodies were still being pulled from the wreckage late on Friday night. Most were so badly burned that only 19 could easily be identified. Officials said they had begun DNA sampling to identify the others.
About 19 houses in the dense Model Colony neighbourhood of Karachi were destroyed in the crash. There were no fatalities on the ground, but some residents suffered severe burns.
An investigation has been launched to piece together how the Airbus A320 travelling from Lahore developed a fatal technical fault that led to the crash at 2.30pm local time on Friday.
PIA said it would hand over the plane’s black box to the inquiry board, and Airbus said it was cooperating fully with Pakistan authorities.
Audio recordings of the pilot’s final contact with air traffic control revealed his last words were “we have lost engines”.
The other survivor was Zafar Masud, the chief executive of Punjab Bank, who escaped with a broken arm and bruising and is being treated at Darul Sehat hospital in Karachi. ’His sister, Zainab Imam, said it was a miracle that he had survived.
“All he remembers is that there was turbulence and then he had lost much of his senses and his bearings,” said Imam. “What I understand is that his seat almost kind of flew out of the plane and he fell out. And he was a bit away from the main wreckage and the fire.
This weekend would usually be a time of celebration for Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, but for the families of the 97 dead it was a time of mourning.