Cargo plane crash in Pakistan kills 8

KARACHI, PAKISTAN—A cargo plane crashed into a housing complex in Pakistan’s largest city soon after takeoff Sunday, setting off a huge blaze and killing all eight Russian crew on board, the civil aviation authority said. Casualties on the ground appeared likely.

The Russian-made plane came down in an upscale neighbourhood of Karachi around 1:50 a.m. local time, when many people on the ground were asleep. The plane exploded into flames, setting several buildings alight.

Fire trucks sprayed foam onto the crash site. As the flames died down, rescuers began searching through the destroyed buildings, looking for bodies or survivors.

The plane crashed in an upscale housing complex for Naval officers.

Hundreds of people came to see the spectacle and film it with their cellphones, hampering access for emergency workers.

Witness Hasan Hashmi said fire could be seen from one of the plane’s engines as it flew overhead.

Aviation authority spokesman Pervais George said the plane was heading to Sudan when it came down two minutes after take off. He said the eight crew, all Russians, were dead.

Local television reported the plane was an Il-89, a multipurpose cargo plane that is often used for ferrying humanitarian aid to developing countries, as well as other large items.

The crash was the third in less than five months in Pakistan.

Earlier this month in Karachi, 21 people were killed when a small passenger plane crashed soon after take off.

In July, a passenger jet operated by Pakistan carrier Airblue crashed into hills overlooking the capital, Islamabad, during stormy weather, killing all 152 on-board.

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