An IL-76 cargo plane crashed early Sunday morning near Karachi, Pakistan, killing at least 11 people and igniting a blaze in a military housing area.
The plane went down within minutes of takeoff plummeting into a Naval housing colony in Karachi’s Dalmia area, according to media reports.
Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervais George told reporters the plane was bound for the Sudanese capital Khartoum. “It took off from Karachi at 1:45 a.m. (20:45 GMT Saturday) and after one and a half minutes it crashed,” he said.
The cause of the crash was under investigation but media reports in Russia said the plane may have struck birds shortly after takeoff. Local reports said one engine appeared to catch fire before the aircraft crashed in a fireball.
The International Civil Aviation Organization approved the new generation IL-76 for global operations in 2006, six years after banning the earlier versions from Europe when they failed to meet strict noise and emissions requirements.
Rescue officials confirmed 11 deaths as a result of the crash, including at least three people on the ground. The plane carried a crew of eight, all Russians, according to the Express Tribune. Gas lines in the area exploded.
The crash destroyed 12 houses, and a fire has spread to other occupied residences, according to Express News.
CAA spokesperson George said the plane caught fire a minute after takeoff and the pilot did not contact the authorities.
The site of the crash is near the military controlled area where a Pakistani twin-engine turboprop crashed after takeoff from Karachi on Nov. 5, killing all 21 people on board.
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