Site of the crash Source: AFP

A small military plane has crashed into a residential area near the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, killing at least 17 and injuring 12 people.

According to the Pakistani Army, five crew members and 12 civilians were among the dead.

Advertise With Us

The aircraft was on a training flight when it crashed and set off a fire across several homes. One witness said the plane was ablaze before the crash.

The King Air 350 turboprop reportedly took a steep turn near its destination airport before coming down.

Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad, is the site of the Pakistani army’s headquarters, and the plane belonged to the Pakistani Army’s aviation unit.

Witnesses at the scene said the aircraft crashed into a family home in a residential area around 02:00 local time (07:00 GMT).

“I was awake when the plane flew over my room and it was already on fire in the air,” said resident Ghulam Khan. “The sound was so scary, it was only a small plane. It then fell on a house where a family used to live.”

Another witness, Yasir Baloch, said: “The tail of the plane was on fire and it took barely two to three seconds and it crashed four houses away from my house and burnt to ashes.”

A resident near the site of the crash who gave his name as Yamin said he had escaped his burning house with his wife, daughter and parents, but his brother, sister-in-law and nephew died.

“The window and door to their room was locked. We tried our best to get them out but couldn’t,” he said.