- At least 49 people were confirmed dead in a plane crash at Kathmandu airport
- The aircraft reportedly burst into flame while trying to land
- The airline blamed the air traffic control for giving wrong direction to the pilot
Dozens were reportedly killed in a plane crash in Kathmandu in Nepal on Monday, March 12, according to officials.
At least 49 of the 71 people, including passengers and crew members, onboard were confirmed dead and several others were seriously injured when a plane operated by Bangladeshi carrier US-Bangla Airlines caught fire while trying to land at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport past 2:00 pm, local time.
The passenger aircraft, Flight BS 211 – a twin-propeller Bombardier Dash 8 – burst into flame as it tried to land following its flight from Bangladesh. Witnesses said the plane swerved repeatedly before crashing near the runway.
“It was flying so low I thought it was going to run into the mountains,” narrated Amanda Summers, an American worker at the airport. “All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast.”
So far, according to CNN, 40 bodies have been recovered, nine of whom died at the hospital while 12 are being treated for injuries.
The director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, Sanjiv Gautam, said the aircraft was permitted to land from the southern side but instead land from the northern part.
“We are yet to ascertain the reason behind the unusual landing,” said the aviation official.
However, US-Bangla Airlines chief executive Imran Asif blamed the Kathmandu air traffic control for giving wrong direction and maintained it was not their pilot’s fault.
Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, meanwhile, has sent his condolences to the family of the victims and vowed to investigate the incident.