Karachi, May 27 (PTI) A team of 11 technical experts from the aviation company Airbus visited Jinnah International Airport here and inspected the runway, the air traffic control tower and the radar control station in as part of its initial investigation into the PIA plane crash involving its plane that killed 97 people, media reports said.
The team of experts from an Airbus facility in the French city of Toulouse arrived in Pakistan on Monday to conduct an independent investigation into the accident on Friday.
The accident involved the Netherlands-based aerospace company Airbus A-320, which plunged into a residential area a few minutes before landing, apparently due to an engine failure.
The team inspected the runway at Jinnah International Airport here, where the plane unsuccessfully attempted to land before boarding and crashing into a nearby residential area, The Express Tribune reported.
They also visited the air traffic control tower and the radar control station.
The team will also inspect the accident site where the flight of the Lahore national flag carrier PK-8303 landed, the report said.
The experts will also provide technical assistance to their Pakistani counterparts to investigate the reasons for the crash, one of the worst in the country’s aviation history in recent times.
Experts should take the plane’s black box recorder, which contains the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, and any other evidence that may assist the investigation, the report said.
The team will return to France after completing the 16-hour investigation, the report said.
Meanwhile, Pakistani aviation officials said Tuesday that they shared the findings of their initial investigation into the accident with the Airbus team.
“We are providing all possible assistance to Airbus technical experts,” PIA spokesperson Abdul Hafeez said in the Dawn newspaper.
The report said authorities sealed off the crash site and secured the plane’s black box to facilitate the investigation.
The Pakistani investigation team is expected to submit a full report on the accident in about three months.
According to the PIA’s engineering and maintenance department, the aircraft’s last check was made on March 21 of this year and it had flown from Muscat to Lahore a day before the accident.
The aircraft was released to the PIA in 2014 and completed 47,100 hours of flight and 25,860 flight cycles until its crash on Friday.
The Express Tribune in its report said the bodies have been identified by DNA testing and so far 41 bodies have been handed over to the family members of the deceased.
“The PIA is engaged in the 24-hour emergency response center to assist family members of the victims,” said a PIA spokesperson in the report.
“The PIA immediately started delivering Rs 1 million each to the families of the victims,” said the official.
Meanwhile, the injured at the crash site in the area of the model colony are being treated at various hospitals in Karachi.
Eighteen homes were damaged and 11 people were injured when the plane crashed in the residential area.
An investigation team has also started work to assess damage to the property where the plane crashed, the report said.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pakistani government authorized limited domestic flights from five major airports – Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta – as of May 16. PTI RS AKJ RS