Nepal plane crash: Death toll rises to 50

13 March, 2018, 11:16 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Kathmandu Airport Nepal

As many as 49 people were killed and 22 injured when a passenger plane of the US-Bangla Airlines, flying to Kathmandu from Dhaka, with 71 on board crash-landed and exploded into a ball of flame at Nepal's main airport here on Monday.

Basanta Bohara, a Nepali tour operator who went to Bangladesh for training, said that the hour and 40-minute flight from Bangladesh's capital was uneventful until the plane began to wobble on its descent into Kathmandu, hitting a football field near the airport with a huge sound and catching fire.

US-Bangla spokesman Kamrul Islam said the plane was carrying 32 passengers from Bangladesh, 33 from Nepal and one each from China and the Maldives.

A survivor said the plane "shook violently" followed by a loud bang.

"I was seated near the window and was able to break out of the window", he said.

The condition of over two dozen people who were admitted to the hospital in Kathmandu is said to be serious. "The tower repeatedly asked if the pilot was OK and the reply was 'yes,"' he said.

"All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast", she said. Two days after this crash, another plane crash landed killing its two pilots.

Eyewitnesses said the plane crashed as it made a second approach towards the airport, bursting into flames after coming to a halt in a football pitch next to the runway.

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Numerous bodies that lay on the tarmac covered by cloth were charred, witnesses said.

Clouds of thick, dark smoke could be seen rising above the hilltop Tribhuvan International Airport, which was immediately shut down.

It has reported the Nepali pilots of the other aircraft are heard saying the pilot of the Bangladeshi plane should be assisted by radar and taken out of harm's way, and that the visibility in the hills is bad.

The airport was temporarily closed for all worldwide flights following the accident.

Small aircraft often run into trouble at provincial airstrips.

Nepal s poor air safety record is largely blamed on inadequate maintenance and substandard management. In 2016, a Twin Otter turboprop crashed into a mountain killing all 23 people on board.

The chief executive officer of U.S. -Bangla Airlines, Imran Asif, accused Kathmandu's air traffic control of giving incorrect signals for the landing.

According to Raj Kumar Chettri, general manager of the airport, flight BS-211, which covered the Dhaka-Kathmandu route, collided with a fence of the facility when it descended on the runway.



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