Fire forces evacuation of passenger plane at Karachi airport

A Dubai-bound plane with 82 passengers on board aborted its flight minutes before take off after one of its engines caught fire on Saturday night at the international airport here.

Karachi: A Dubai-bound plane with 82 passengers on board aborted its flight minutes before take off after one of its engines caught fire on Saturday night at the international airport here.

Minutes before the flight was supposed to take off, the pilot detected smoke in the cockpit and alerted the ground control at the Jinnah International Airport, officials said.

"The EK-609 flight for Dubai with 82 passengers on board was backing up and readying for takeoff when the pilot informed the control tower of an emergency as smoke was coming out of one of the engines," Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson Pervez George told PTI on phone.

All the passengers were safely evacuated and were taken to the airport lounge and provided medical assistance and care.

George said the aircraft was towed away from the runway to a corner of the airport after the passengers were safely evacuated.

Sources, however, said a few of the total 82 passengers aboard the aircraft sustained minor injuries as they rushed to get off the plane.

Flight operations were suspended for a brief period at the airport. The smoke from the flame could be seen from far off.

George dismissed earlier reports which suggested that the plane had to make an emergency landing at the airport.

He said other international and domestic flight operations have now resumed.

Fire tenders had put out the fire and an investigation has been launched by a team of engineers and CAA personnel.

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