Millions in cash found in PIA PK8303 wreckage

Aasif Azaan

The investigators and rescuers working at the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK8303 crash site recovered over 30 million Indian rupees (about $400,000) in cash in the wreckage of the Airbus A320.

The sum, in different currencies, was found in two separate bags. “An investigation has been ordered into how such a huge amount of cash got through airport security and baggage scanners and found its way into the ill-fated flight,” an official told the Press Trust of India.

On May 22, 2020, Pakistan International Airlines flight PK8303 crashed just outside the Karachi Airport, Pakistan. Of the 99 people (89 passengers and eight crew) onboard the Airbus A320, two passengers survived the accident. Eleven people were injured on the ground.

Preliminary elements hint that the aircraft, with its gears retracted, attempted a belly landing. When engines impacted the runway 25L three times, as shown by footage released by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority. Scratch marks of the left engine appear at the 4,500 feet mark from the threshold and more scratches, this time from both engines, at 5,500 feet. 

After aborting the maneuver, the plane lost engine power while attempting to climb back and crashed in a residential area. The priority of the investigators will be to determine if the flight crew was conscious of the landing gear status before they attempted to land. “The pilot never announced his landing gear wasn’t opening,” Pakistan’s Minister for Civil Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan told reporters. “He haphazardly touched the ground thrice with the engines.” Another important aspect of the investigation will be to figure out if damages caused by the impact led to the engine shutdown that doomed the flight.

Both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were found. They will be sent to France where the French Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority (BEA) will extract and analyze the data. 


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