17 killed as Pak military aircraft crashes on training flight

Pakistani military aircraft on a training flight crashed in a built-up area in the garrison city of Rawalpindi early on Tuesday, killing all five crew members and 12 civilians, an army statement said.

Another 12 civilians were injured in the crash, which set off a fire. Rawalpindi is close to the capital, Islamabad, and is where the headquarters of the Pakistan army is based.

The website of newspaper The News carried footage showing a building engulfed in flames. There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash or the type of aircraft involved.Military and civilian rescue teams were at the scene and extinguished the fire and took the injured to hospital, the statement from the army’s communications wing said.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known and military officials said the small plane, belonging to the army aviation corps, was on a routine training flight when it crashed around 2 a.m. Two of the five people on board were pilots. After the plane crashed, a large fire broke out, engulfing several houses in the village of Mora Kalu near Rawalpindi, a city adjacent to the capital, Islamabad.

In a statement, the military officials said that five among the deceased were soldiers. Farooq Butt at the state-run emergency called 1122 to declare emergency hospitals as 10 had died in the crash. At least 20 people had been injured according to him. Rescue officials said that the reason for the accident is still unknown as the plane suddenly lost control with the tower. However, the death toll could rise further as many of the injured are in a critical condition.

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