ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane flying from Chitral has crashed on its flight to Islamabad, officials said.
Concurring Civil Aviation Authority sources, the ATR-42 plane with 47 travelers disappeared from the radar close Havelian while it was headed to Islamabad. PIA passenger flight PK-661 crashes near Havelian
The plane took off from Chitral around 3:00PM yet correspondence with the control tower was broken around 4:30PM, in the blink of an eye before it was going to touch base at its goal.
A CAA spokesperson said search for the missing plane was underway.
CAA sources confirmed a mayday call from the pilot to the control tower shortly before it lost communication with the plane.
A statement from the PIA confirmed that the plane had gone missing, but did not confirm the crash.
“We regret to inform that PIA’s ATR-42 aircraft operating as PK-661, carrying around 40 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. Media will be kept informed as situation develops,” said the PIA.
The PIA said an emergency response center has been activated and can be accessed at following phone numbers for updates:
PIA Emergency response center: 0092-21-99044890, 0092-21-99044376, and 0092-21-99044394
Eyewitnesses said they had seen a plane crash in a hilly area near Havelian, near the Ordinance factory. Clouds of smoke could be seen rising from the area of the reported crash.
Ground rescue teams had been sent to the area, sources said.