ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN – Early on Tuesday, a Pakistan Army aircraft crashed in a residential area in Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad. All 5 crew members and 13 civilians were killed, 12 more people were injured, an army statement said. The crash happened during a routine training flight.
According to a Pakistan Army spokesperson, all 5 crew members – including 2 pilots – and 13 civilians were killed in the accident.
Shortly after the crash a massive fire broke out that left a pile of smoking rubble, but the fire was extinguished soon by military and civilian rescue workers at the scene, who took at least 12 injured civilians to hospitals in the city, where paramedics said most of the victims were badly burnt.
“The plane hit the side of the building and the structure it has crashed into has completely collapsed,’ an army officer at the scene said.
“I was awake when the plane flew over my room and it was already on fire in the air,” resident Ghulam Khan said to BBC News. “The sound was so scary, it was only a small plane. It then fell on a house where a family used to live.”
Another witness, resident Yasir Baloch said to BBC News: “The tail of the plane was on fire and it took barely 2 to 3 seconds and it crashed 4 houses away from my house and burnt to ashes.”
It remains unclear what caused the crash or what type of aircraft was involved.
Pakistan has a poor air safety track record, with plane and helicopter crashes occurring frequently over the years.
(Image: from ODN video)