World

49 die in failed airliner landing in Nepal

49 die in failed airliner landing in Nepal

A US-Bangna Bangladeshi plane with 69 passengers on board crashed near Kathmandu airport Monday as it was coming in to land, officials said, as fire fighters battled to extinguish the burning wreckage and rescue passengers.

Others include 32 Bangladeshis, one Chinese and one Maldivian.

"All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang", one of the survivors, Basanta Bohora, told the Kathmandu Post daily.

"I was seated near the window and was able to break out of the window", he said. He said that while 31 bodies had been recovered from the site, nine others injured died at the hospital.

The aircraft received a green light to land in the southern area, but in the end it tried to do it in the north, he said. "When control tower asked the pilot if there was any problem, the pilot said everything is okay". Two days after this crash, another plane crash landed killing its two pilots.

The pilot's confusion while landing the plane from the eastern side of the runway had likely led to the crash, according to an analysis based on the conversation between the pilot and the air traffic controller published by the Nepali Times.

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

"Then immediately a large plume of smoke was seen", said Arnico Pandey, adding that the plane was flying very low, just enough to be above the control tower.

The plane was 17 years old, company officials said. Then it lost more altitude and finally crashed.

The airport has announced cancellation of all flights after accident, and those who were headed to TIA have been diverted to or nearby destinations, as explained airport sources.

Nepal has been hit by air crashes in recent years, highlighting poor safety in the Himalayan country.

Small aircraft often run into trouble at provincial airstrips.

Just two months earlier, a Thai Airways aircraft had crashed near the same airport, killing 113 people.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli entering Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu on March 12, 2018, following the crash of a bombardier aircraft of US-Bangla Airlines. There were believed to be about three dozen Nepali citizens on board out of 71 passengers and crew; the Kathmandu-Dhaka route is popular with migrant workers making their way to jobs in the Gulf states.

Flight BS211 veered off the runway while landing on Monday afternoon. There were no reports of injuries.


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