Pakistan: Cargo plane catches on fire, crash kills 8

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 28, 2010 08:34

KARACHI, Pakistan — A cargo plane crashed in flames into a residential area in Pakistan's  largest city soon after takeoff Sunday, killing all eight Russian crew aboard but narrowly missing several densely populated apartment blocks, aviation officials said.

At least one person on the ground was injured when the Russian-made plane slammed into a housing complex under construction in Karachi, sending fire and smoke into the sky and razing or damaging about 20 buildings. Authorities were searching the smoking rubble Sunday for any additional survivors or bodies.The crash was the second this month in Karachi, the main port city in the south, and the third in Pakistan in less than five months.

Residents said most of the houses destroyed were under construction and believed unoccupied except for a few of the laborers building them. They said hundreds more could have died if the plane had hit one of several large apartment buildings only a few hundred yards (meters) away.

The Sudan-bound plane crashed around 1:50 a.m., when many people in the upscale neighborhood were asleep. One of the plane's engines was on fire as it flew overhead, several witnesses said.


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