A Pakistan International Airlines aircraft with about 47 people on board crashed in the mountainous north of the country, authorities said.
The Pakistani ATR42, registered AP-BHO, was operating flight PK-661 from Chitral to Islamabad, with 42 passengers and 5 crew members onboard.
The airline said in a statement that one of its aircraft lost contact with the air traffic control en route:
“We regret to inform that PIA’s ATR-42 aircraft operating as PK-661, carrying around 42 persons lost its contact with control tower on its way from Chitral to Islamabad a short while ago. All resources are being mobilised to locate the aircraft. Updates will be provided as situation develops”.
Pakistan International Airlines Chairman Mr. Azam Saigol and CEO Mr. Bernd Hildenbrand have expressed deep grief and sorrow over the tragic incident involving crash of PIA’s ATR-42 aircraft this afternoon and extended heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.
On their directions, as per international aviation requirement, an Emergency Response Center has been established at the airline’s Headquarter in Karachi from where senior management has been monitoring the situation since the accident took place.
Local media is reporting that the aircraft declared emergency citing problems with the left engine, and shortly afterwards contact was lost with the aircraft.
The army said it has dispatched troops and helicopters to the crash site.
The aircraft manufacturer ATR said in a statement:
“ATR regrets to acknowledge the loss of an ATR 42-500 operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in an accident today at around 4:30 pm (local time). The aircraft, registered under AP-BHO, was Serial Number 663. ATR expresses its deepest sympathy to the families and to those affected by the accident”.
(Image under CC BY-SA 2.0)