KARACHI: A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jet crashed near a residential neighbourhood in Karachi on Tuesday, killing the pilot on the spot.
Wing Commander Fayyaz Athar Malik embraced martyrdom when his Mirage aircraft crashed near Musharraf Colony shortly after takeoff. The jet, bearing the tail number 921, had taken off from the PAF Base Masroor, Squadron Leader Baqir Ali told The Express Tribune.
The jet was on a routine operational training mission, a PAF spokesperson said in an official statement. “No loss of civilian life and property has been reported on ground,” the spokesperson said, adding that a board of inquiry has been ordered by Air Headquarters to determine the cause of accident.
A huge explosion was heard when the Mirage aircraft went down. The crash site was cordoned off by law enforcement and PAF officials immediately afterwards. Fire tenders and ambulances were also dispatched to the site since the jet exploded and was engulfed in flames upon crashing. Helicopters were also called in to participate in the rescue and relief operation. A senior police official, who wished not to be named, said the pilot died on the spot.
Defence Minister Khwaja Asif condoled with the family of the deceased pilot in a post on Twitter. “As we mourn the loss of Wing Commander Fayyaz Athar Malik, martyred today, so too do we rise in gratitude for his brave services to Pakistan,” he said. “A grateful nation stands with his family in their time of sorrow. We pray God grants them the strength to bear this loss,” Asif added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2016.