Rescue workers plane crash Pakistan
Rescue workers gather at the site of a passenger plane crash in a residential area near an airport in Karachi, Pakistan, May 22, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: A Pakistani resident in the UAE has lost his parents in the PIA plane crash in Karachi on May 22, Gulf News has learnt.

Abu Dhabi-based resident Hammad Rehman’s father, Fazal Rehman, and mother, Wahida Rehman, were passengers in the ill-fated PIA flight from Lahore to Karachi. Both of them died in the crash. The flight PK-8303 crashed into a residential neighbourhood, killing 97 out of total 99 passengers on Friday.

Two passengers, Masood Zafar and Mohammad Zubair, miraculously survived the crash and are in stable condition.

The bereaved family

Hammad Rehman along with his wife and two children flew from Abu Dhabi to Faisalabad on Saturday evening on a special PIA flight. The family drove to Lahore after landing at Faisalabad airport, which is about 183km from Lahore. Hammad’s deceased parents, who lived in Lahore, were travelling to celebrate Eid Al Fitr with their other son who lives in Karachi.

When contacted, Pakistan Consul General in Dubai Ahmed Amjad Ali confirmed the news to Gulf News and said: “Yes, we got a call from Hammad’s friend who informed us about the tragedy and we immediately made arrangements and booked Hammad and his family on the special repatriation flight from Abu Dhabi.”

Kind gesture

He said the PIA also showed a kind gesture and offered free tickets to Hammad. “Though the special flight was fully booked with stranded Pakistanis going back home, we managed to arrange seats for the bereaved family,” he added.

Ambassador expresses condolences

Ambassador of Pakistan Ghulam Dastgir also went to the Abu Dhabi International Airport to offer condolences to the family and saw them off. “The family preferred to go to Lahore but they had to travel to Faisalabad — the nearest city as there was no flight to Lahore. They went to their parent’s house in Lahore because the remains of the bodies would be flown back from Karachi to Lahore after DNA tests, which are being conducted in Karachi to identify the plane crash victims,” he told Gulf News. He added that Hammad works at a senior position in a leading company in Abu Dhabi.

The PIA plane, which crashed in Karachi on Friday, was filled with military officers, executives and bankers. It ran into trouble reportedly because both engines failed along with having faulty landing gear. As it was approaching the runway, it crashed into a residential neighbourhood of Model Colony killing 97 out of 99 passengers and damaging eight homes and injuring seven residents.

Most of the bodies have not been identified, with many of them badly charred from the fire that consumed the aeroplane. During the conversation with the airport control tower, the pilot had reported having lost engines, before declaring “mayday, mayday.”