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At least 57 dead as Pakistan plane crashes in residential area in Karachi

KARACHI, May 22: At least 57 people were killed when a Pakistan International Airlines plane with 99 people on board crashed into a densely populated residential area near the Jinnah International Airport here on Friday, officials said, nearly a week after the COVID-19-induced air travel restrictions were lifted by the government.

Flight PK-8303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, minutes before its landing, they said.

The PIA Airbus A320 carrying 91 passengers and eight crew members has crash- landed into the Jinnah Housing Society located near the airport, a spokesperson of the national carrier said.

Thick black smoke rose from the accident scene of devastation in the Model Colony area.

Earlier, a PIA spokesperson and many media reports said that there were 107 people on board the aircraft.

Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho and rescue officials confirmed that 57 dead bodies have been recovered so far from the site of the crash.

“But we are still to determine whether these 57 people were all on board the flight or include area residents as a number of houses have been badly damaged by the aircraft when it crashed,” she said.

The minister said there are three survivors including President of the Bank of Punjab Zafar Masood. He called up his mother to inform her of his well-being.

Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Welfare Trust said that around 25 to 30 residents whose houses were damaged by the plane have also been taken to the hospital, mostly with burn wounds.

The aircraft wings during the crash landing hit the houses in the residential colony before crashing down.

Britain to quarantine travellers for 14 days

LONDON, May 9: The British authorities has instructed airways it would introduce a 14-day quarantine interval for most individuals arriving from overseas to attempt to keep away from a second peak of the coronavirus pandemic, an affiliation representing the airways stated on Saturday.

Airlines UK, which represents British Airways, Easyjet and different British airways, stated the transfer required “a credible exit plan” and ought to be reviewed weekly. Airport operators stated it might have a “devastating” impression on the aviation business and the broader economic system.

The quarantine plan was first reported by The Times newspaper, which stated Prime Minister Boris Johnson would on Sunday announce that passengers arriving at airports and ports, together with Britons getting back from overseas, should self-isolate for a fortnight.

Under measures which can be more likely to come into drive in early June, travellers should present the handle at which they are going to self-isolate on arrival, The Times stated.

“These measures will help protect the British public and reduce the transmission of the virus as we move into the next phase of our response,” The Times quoted a authorities supply as saying.

Johnson’s Downing Street workplace and the inside ministry declined remark.

Johnson is due on Sunday to announce the subsequent steps in Britain’s battle to sort out the novel coronavirus following a assessment by ministers of measures which have all however shut the economic system and saved hundreds of thousands at residence for greater than six weeks.

The airport operators stated a quarantine would compound injury accomplished by the pandemic to the aviation business as it might put individuals off travelling when lockdown restrictions are lifted.

“Quarantine would not only have a devastating impact on the UK aviation industry, but also on the wider economy,” stated Karen Dee, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association.

“If the government believes quarantine is medically necessary, then it should be applied on a selective basis following the science, there should be a clear exit strategy and the economic impact on key sectors should be mitigated.”

Airlines UK stated it might search assurances that the transfer is “led by the science” and that airways would want help measures to make sure the aviation sector will get by means of the quarantine interval.

The Times report stated travellers from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man could be exempt from the quarantine, as would lorry drivers bringing essential provides.

It stated the authorities would perform spot checks and people discovered to be breaking the principles would face fines or deportation.

Britain has reported 31,241 deaths from the coronavirus and setting minister George Eustice stated Johnson wouldn’t announce any dramatic modifications to Britain’s lockdown on Sunday.

The devolved Welsh authorities introduced minor lockdown changes on Friday, permitting individuals to train greater than as soon as a day and backyard centres to reopen.

Air India opens bookings for passengers to London, Singapore, US from May 8

NEW DELHI, May 6: National carrier Air India on Wednesday opened bookings for those passengers who meet eligibility criteria and wish to travel from India to London, Singapore and select destinations in the United States on flights operating between May 8 to May 14, a statement from the airline said.

“We would like to inform all those who wish to travel from India to London, Singapore and select destinations in the USA on Air India flights operating between May 8 and May 14 to click on http://www.airindia.in/r1landingpage.htm for booking. Passengers are requested to read the eligibility criteria carefully as available on the link and proceed further for booking only if they meet the same,” the Air India statement read.

The flights scheduled for Thursday under the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission will ply from Kochi to Abu Dhabi, Delhi to Singapore and Calicut to Dubai.

The first scheduled flight under India’s massive ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to bring back stranded Indians from abroad is likely to be the one from New Delhi to Singapore on Thursday.

Following the proper Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which were released on Tuesday, Air India has tested its pilots and crew for Covid-19 and the results are expected by Thursday.

The Delhi-Singapore flight will be the first in the 64 ferry services which will be operated by the airline and its subsidiary Air India Express from May 8-14. It will also be the only one to be operated on Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Air India’s repatriation flights could not be operated as the crew members’ Covid-19 tests were not done on time, the airline said.

The ‘Vande Bharat’ mission plans to evacuate stranded Indians from abroad amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

On Tuesday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs stated that a person who has an OCI card, or has held the citizenship of a foreign country, or held a valid visa of more than one year of that country, or had the green card of that country, can travel on the repatriation flight leaving India under the Vande Bharat mission.

India has been under lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the coronavirus. All scheduled commercial passenger flights; both domestic and international, have been suspended for the duration of the lockdown.

 

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