Saturday, 22 September, 2018

49 dead from plane that crashed while landing in Nepal

US-Bangla Flight Crash in Nepal Airlines aircraft
Ray Hunter | 13 March, 2018, 11:32

A spokesman for the Dhaka-based U.S. -Bangla Airlines said 71 people, including four crew members, were on board the aircraft.

The flight, UBG 211, was en route to Kathmandu from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

In statements to the press, Deputy Inspector General of the Police of Nepal, Manoj Neupaney, confirmed the figure and explained that 22 other people were hospitalized.

The pilot did not follow the control tower's instructions and approached the airport's one runway from the wrong direction, the Kathmandu airport's general manager said.

He said the plane was "out of control" when it attempted to land on the runway.

US-Bangla Airlines chief executive Bimran Asif said a misunderstanding between the control tower at Kathmandu airport and the pilot might have caused the accident.

The exact number of dead and injured remained unclear amid the chaos of the crash and the rush of badly injured people to nearby hospitals, but Brig.

Neupane said authorities had completed the search for bodies at the site.

"All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang", one of the survivors, Basanta Bohora, told reporters from his hospital bed.

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Those on board include 12 Nepali tour agents who were returning after an annual sales conference in Bangladesh, an official said. The Himalayan nation has a chequered history when it comes to air safety, with more than 70 crashes involving planes and helicopters since 1949, the year the first aircraft landed there.

Authorities said the 78-seat airplane caught fire after crash-landing around 2:20 p.m. Monday and breaking into large pieces.

Airline spokesman Kamrul Islam, told AFP 33 of the passengers were Nepali, 32 were Bangladeshi, one was Chinese and one from the Maldives.

In a recording by air traffic monitoring website liveatc.net, the pilot can be heard asking for permission to land the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 from the north, which is granted by the air traffic controller.

"Our team will fly to Nepal as soon as the airport is open", he added.

My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.

Kathmandu airport briefly closed after the accident, forcing inbound flights to divert, but it has since reopened.

US-Bangla Airlines is owned by US-Bangla Group, a joint venture company with offices in Dhaka, New York, India and other Asian hubs.

Todays accident is deadliest since September 1992 when all 167 people aboard a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane were killed when it crashed near the Kathmandu airport.

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