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49 dead in Nepal plane crash horror

IANS  |  Kathmandu 

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

Police confirmed the death toll. The 78-seater Dash 8 aircraft caught fire after it skidded off the runway at the (TIA) while landing and crashed onto a field apparently due to technical glitches.

Of the 71 people, four were crew members, 33 were Nepalis, 32 Bangladeshis, one Chinese and one Maldivian national, said TIA

Neupane said 31 bodies were pulled out from the wreckage of the crashed plane while 18 others others died in hospitals.

All flights in and out of the TIA were cancelled. The airport was reopened later.

Raj Kumar Chettri, of TIA, said the aircraft spun out of control when it entered the Valley and was seen swinging when it attempted to land on the runway.

He said the horrific accident took place after the pilot took an opposite direction to descend the plane, not obeying the instructions of the (ATC).

"Our ATC permitted the aircraft to land from the southern side of the runway but it changed its route and attempted to land from northern side," said Chettri. He called it the "main reason behind the accident".

The aircraft narrowly went past a aircraft parked on the runway, he said.

Photos and videos posted on showed smoke rising from the runway. Witnesses said the plane crashed when trying to take a sharp turn.

"I saw the plane make a sharp turn over the terminal back towards south and then disappeared towards the runway. 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.

A survivor, Nepalese Basanta Bohora, recounted from his hospital bed his miraculous escape.

After a normal take-off from Dhaka, the plane began to behave strangely as it approached Kathmandu, he said.

"All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang," he was quoted as saying by the Post.

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

"I have no recollection after I got out of the plane. Someone took me to and from there my friends brought me to Norvic (Hospital). I have received injuries to my head and legs, but I am fortunate that I survived the ordeal."

said he was "extremely shocked" by news of the crash and promised an immediate government investigation.

The is a privately-owned Bangladeshi headquartered in

This is the most severe air crash at Kathmandu's main airport after a flight crash-landed in March 2015.

--IANS

giri-soni/mr

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 20:56 IST
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