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Plane Hits Pakistan Neighborhood

July 30, 1998

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) _ A Pakistan air force plane slammed into a crowded Karachi neighborhood today, killing at least six people on the ground. At least 25 people were injured, most with serious burns.

The plane exploded on impact, immediately setting three houses on fire. The flames quickly spread through the neighborhood of small, one-story dwellings, trapping an unknown number of people.

The six dead, including three children, were pulled from the houses. The bodies were burned beyond recognition. The afternoon crash came at a time of the day when mostly women and children were at home.

The air force said the pilot safely ejected before the plane hit the ground in western Orangi district, a densely populated, lower-middle class neighborhood in Karachi, the port city that is Pakistan’s financial hub.

Dozens of fire trucks converged on the scene. Military troops cordoned off the area as hundreds of residents rushed home from work, anxious about relatives.

Air force officials confirmed the crash, saying the plane was a Chinese-made fighter trainer. They had few other details.

Earlier today in neighboring India, a commercial propeller aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from the southern city of Cochin. All six persons on board were killed, Indian news agencies reported.

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