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At least 18 killed in Pakistan plane crash

Five soldiers were among those killed in the crash, the military said.

Pakistan army officials examine the site of a fatal plane crash in Rawalpindi (Anjum Naveed/AP)
Pakistan army officials examine the site of a fatal plane crash in Rawalpindi (Anjum Naveed/AP)

A small Pakistani military plane has crashed into a residential area near the garrison city of Rawalpindi, killing at least 18 people, most of them on the ground.

Fires, damaged homes and debris were visible in Mora Kalu village on the outskirts of Rawalpindi after daybreak.

Troops and police cordoned off the residential area to search for plane debris and investigative evidence after the rescue efforts had ended.

Five soldiers, including two army pilots, and at least 13 civilians were killed, the military said in a statement.

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Pakistan army officials examine the site of a plane crash in Rawalpindi (Anjum Naveed/AP)

Farooq Butt, an official at the state-run emergency service, said an additional 15 people were injured.

Rescue officials said the death toll could continue to rise since some of those injured were critical.

“We have shifted all the bodies and injured persons to hospitals,” he told The Associated Press.

“Most of the victims received burn injuries and children are among the dead.”

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The small Pakistani military plane crashed into a residential area, officials said (Anjum Naveed/AP)

Residents say they woke up when they heard an explosion and saw debris of a burning plane near their homes. Army helicopters were seen hovering over the crash site later.

“My sister, her husband and their three children were killed when the plane crashed into their home,” said Mohammad Mustafa.

He said rescuers and troops quickly reached the area after the crash.

Abdul Rehman, a medical doctor, said at least three homes were badly damaged and the pilots’ bodies had been retrieved.

The military said the army aircraft was on a routine training flight when it crashed, but had no information on the possible cause.

Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan in separate statements expressed their condolences.

PA

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