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Nepal plane crash: 50 dead on US-Bangla flight; Oli assures probe; updates

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At least 50 people were killed and 22 injured when a passenger plane of the US-Bangla Airlines crash-landed and exploded into a ball of flame at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) here on Monday, authorities said.

“fifty people were killed in the incident. Now we are carrying out rescue operations,” Bishwo Raj Pokharel, a senior police official involved in the rescue operation at TIA, told Xinhua news agency.

The 78-seater Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, with 71 people on board, was flying from Dhaka to Kathmandu. It veered off the runway and caught fire while landing at 2.20 p.m., said TIA spokesperson Prem Nath Thakur.

All flights in and out of the Tribhuvan International Airport were cancelled. The airport was reopened later.

Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Sanjiv Gautam said the plane lost control when it attempted to land on the runway.

“The aircraft was permitted to land from the southern side of the runway flying over Koteshwor but it landed from the northern side,” said Gautam, adding that the aircraft might have sustained technical glitches.

“We are yet to ascertain the reason behind the unusual landing,” he said.

Highlights
1. Lucky to be alive: Nepal plane crash survivor
Basanta Bohora, a Nepalese and one of the few passengers to escape with injuries in the deadly plane crash here today said he is lucky to be alive. Bohora, an employee of Raswita International Travels and Tours, recalled that the take-off was normal from

Dhaka but when the plane approached the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for landing in Kathmandu, the aircraft began to behave strangely.

“There were 16 Nepalese from various travel agencies onboard the airplane,” he was quoted as saying by Kathmandu Post.

All the 16 had gone to Bangladesh for training, he said.

“All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang afterwards,” he said.

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

“I have received injuries to my head and legs but I am fortunate that I survived the ordeal,” he said.

1. Prime Minister of Nepal K P Sharma Oli tweeted:
Extremely shocked by unfortunate carsh of US_ Bangla Aircraft carrying 67 passengers and 4 crew members. Express deep sorrow on loss of lives and condole to bereaved families and also wish for early recovery of injured persons. Govt will investigate the incident immediately.

2. The plane caught fire after it careened off the runway during landing and crashed onto a football ground near the airport, the TIA spokesperson Prem Nath Thakur was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.

3. The plane was a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400

4. 50 bodies recovered so far from the plane crash in Nepal; more deaths feared.
Victims’ bodies have been recovered from the wreckage, an official said. “We just pulled out dead bodies and injured from the debris,” government spokesman Narayan Prasad Duwadi told AFP.
Saddened at the airplane tragedy. My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. In this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with the leadership and the people of both Bangladesh and Nepal

5. Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport has been closed for all arrival and departures

6. The aircraft took off from Dhaka and landed at the airport at 2:20 pm (local time).

7. US-Bangla Airlines is a unit of the US-Bangla Group, a U. S. Bangladeshi joint venture company. The Bangladeshi carrier launched operations in July 2014 and operates Bombardier Inc and Boeing aircraft.

8. In early 2016, a Twin Otter turboprop aircraft slammed into a mountainside in Nepal killing all 23 people on board. Two days later, two pilots were killed when a small passenger plane crash-landed in the country’s hilly midwest.

9. Rescue operation underway.

10. Live footage posted on Facebook showed the towering columns of smoke rising behind the runway, where another plane stood waiting on the tarmac.
Mountainous Nepal is notorious for air accidents. Small aircraft often run into trouble at provincial airstrips. A Thai Airways flight from Bangkok crashed while trying to land in Kathmandu in 1992 killing all on board.

Source: Business Standard

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