MULTAN, Pakistan, AP – A passenger plane slammed into a wheat field and burst into flames minutes after takeoff Monday from a city in eastern Pakistan. All 45 people on board were killed, officials said.
The Pakistan International Airlines plane went down about two miles from the airport in Multan, causing a huge explosion,, witnesses said.
“All 41 passengers and four crew members onboard the plane have died,” said Iftikhar Babar, a district coordinator.
An airline official said there was no chance anyone survived. He declined to be named as he was not authorized to address the media.
The plane was on a flight to Lahore, the capital of eastern Punjab province.
“The plane lost contact with the control tower about two minutes after takeoff. We don’t know what happened to it,” said an engineer for the airline, Mansoor A. Rahi.
Mohammed Nadeem, a jeweler who lives near the crash site, said the plane was rotating sideways in the air before it hit the ground.