Plane With 71 On Board Crashes At Kathmandu Airport

A Bangladeshi aircraft carrying 67 passengers and four crew members has crashed as it was landing at Kathmandu airport in Nepal.

The US-Bangla Airlines plane slipped off the runway as it was landing and fell down a slope, sliding for about 300 metres before it stopped at a football pitch, leaving a trail of twisted metal, paper and luggage along the burnt grass.

Nepali police said at least 38 were killed and 23 injured, with another 10 people still unaccounted for.

Firefighters battled to extinguish the burning wreckage and rescue passengers as plumes of black smoke rose above the site, to the east of the airport’s runway.

The state of the other people on the flight from the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, operated by US-Bangla Airlines, was not clear, Tribhuvan International Airport spokesperson Birendra Prasad Shrestha said. “We are trying to bring the fire under control. Details are awaited,” he said, adding that the airport had been shut down and all other flights diverted. “We’re now concentrating on evacuating the passengers.” Television images showed smoke rising from the crash site.

At least 50 people have been killed in the plane crash at Kathmandu airport, news agency Reuters reported. The passenger plane belonging to US-Bangla Airlines was carrying 71 people on board when it crashed on Monday while coming in to land at the airport in the Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.

Its poor air safety record has been blamed largely on inadequate maintenance, inexperienced pilots and substandard management.

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.

Its poor air safety record has been blamed largely on inadequate maintenance, inexperienced pilots and substandard management.

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.

The plane “became unstable” while descending, another airport official said.

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal director general Sanjiv Gautam said: “The aircraft was permitted to land from the southern side of the runway flying over Koteshwor but it landed from the northern side.”

Noting that the aircraft may have been affected by technical glitches, he added, “We are yet to ascertain the reason behind the unusual landing.”

Amanda Summers, an American who works in Nepal, watched the crash from the terrace of her home office, not far from the airport.

“It was flying so low I thought it was going to run into the mountains,” she said. “All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast,” she added.

All flights in and out of the Tribhuvan International Airport were cancelled.

US-Bangla Airlines is owned by US-Bangla Group, a joint venture company with offices in Dhaka, New York, India and other Asian hubs. It has been operating since 2014 out of its home airport in Bangladesh.

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