At least 49 dead after Nepal plane crash

Nepal has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years.
Last updated: 12 March 2018, 1:02 pm

At least 49 people have been killed after a plane crashed and burst into flames in Nepal, an army spokesman has said.

The US-Bangla Airlines aircraft was attempting to land at Kathmandu Airport when it veered off the runway and crashed into a nearby football pitch.

Army spokesman Gokul Bhandaree said: “The chances of rescuing anyone (else) alive is slim now because the plane was badly burned.”

A police official had previously said at least 38 people had died, 23 were injured and 10 were unaccounted for.

According to reports, 67 passengers and four crew members were on board the plane, which is believed to have taken off from Dhaka in Bangladesh.

Those on board included 33 Nepali passengers, 32 from Bangladesh, one from China and another from the Maldives.

A survivor, Basanta Bohora, told the Kathmandu Post: “All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang.

“I was seated near a window and was able to break out of the window.”

People have been posting photos of thick smoke rising from the wreckage on social media.

Hundreds of people stood by a nearby hill as rescue workers attended the scene. Amanda Summers saw the crash from the terrace of her home.

She said: “It was flying so low I thought it was going to run into the mountains.”

Summers said it was unclear if the plane had reached the runway when it landed. She added: “All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast.”

The Bangladeshi airline operates a Boeing 737-800 and smaller Bombardier Dash Q-400 planes.

Nepal has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years, and the country’s poor safety record has been blamed on inadequate plane maintenance and inexperienced pilots.

In early 2016, a Twin Otter turboprop aircraft crashed into a mountainside in Nepal – killing all 23 people on board.


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