PIA flight catches fire; passengers including ministers, CJ safe

The engine of an Islamabad-bound Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight, with Members National Assembly, federal ministers, and Chief Justice of Pakistan on board caught fire just before take off on Sunday.

The flight, PK-300 was on the taxiway when the fire broke out in one of its engines, media reported. Declaring emergency, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) cancelled the flight.

Rescue teams have been sent for bringing the fire under control and evacuation of passengers.

Federal Minister, Maula Bux Chandio, talking to a private TV channel slammed PIA for its mismanagement and utter incompetence.

“Smoke billowing out of the burning engine escaped into fuselage after they opened the emergency exit hatch. It was suffocating in there. I saw many passengers, who were not feeling well at all, gasping for air”, said he.

MNA, Yousuf Talpur, who was also on the plane, picked apart PIA for risking passengers’ lives by using planes which should have been retired by now.

“The entry of this very aircraft we were on board is banned in Europe” he said.

National flag carrier has a history of technical issues owing to outdated and under-maintained fleet.

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