At least 40 dead, 23 injured in Kathmandu plane crash

At least 40 dead, 23 injured in Kathmandu plane crash

A survivor of a plane crash near Kathmandu's global airport said Monday that the US-Bangla Airlines plane began "behaving strangely" on descent before it crash-landed, killing at least 49 people.

A passenger plane from Bangladesh crashed and burst into flames as it landed Monday at the Kathmandu airport in Nepal, killing at least a dozen people, officials and witnesses said.

US-Bangla is a private Bangladeshi carrier which operates Boeing 737-800 and smaller Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400 planes.

The plane was a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, which the company describes as "the world's most modern turboprop" and it was 17 years old.

US-Bangla Airlines, which began operating almost four years ago, uses two types of aircraft.

Raj Kumar Chhetri, general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport, said at a news conference Monday afternoon that there was a "problem" with the landing alignment of the aircraft and that when air traffic control ordered the plane not to land, "there was no response from the pilot".

A government spokesman was not able to give numbers but said both dead and injured had been pulled from the aircraft.

This screengrab of video footage from the Facebook account of Nitin Keyal shows smoke rising from the site of the crash.

All 11 onboard were killed, with their charred bodies being recovered.

It veered off the runway and caught fire while landing at 2.20 p.m., said TIA spokesperson Prem Nath Thakur.

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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.

Listening in to the final four minutes of the tape indicates possible confusion in the mind of the Bombardier pilot about "02" and "20", the southern and northern ends of the TIA runway. "We suspect it might have led to the crash", he was quoted as saying by the bdnewss24.

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

"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.

Nepal Army spokesperson Gokul Bhandaree said seven of the victims survived the impact but later died of their injuries.

Flights to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) are now holding or are being diverted.

Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli spoke to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina following the incident and expressed sorrow over the loss of lives.

The plane, operated by US-Bangla Airlines, was on a flight from Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

Nepal has a poor air safety record.

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