What happened at Tribhuvan airport?
At least 50 were killed as a US-Bangla airline carrying 67 passengers and four crew members crashed at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International airport in Nepal on Monday, officials said. The aircraft caught fire after it careened off the runway during landing and crashed onto a football ground near the airport, TIA spokesperson Prem Nath Thakur said. The airport services were halted immediately after the crash.
How many were killed in the plane crash?
Reports suggest that at least 50 were killed in the crash. “We have recovered 50 dead bodies so far,” said army spokesman Gokul Bhandari. Although several people had been rescued from the burning wreckage of the Bombardier Q400 series aircraft, nine people were still unaccounted for, he added.
How many were injured in the incident?
More than 20 people were rescued from the plane and were sent to Kathmandu Medical College for treatment. The fire at the accident site has now been controlled and the airport officials, as well as Nepalese army, have been pressed into the evacuation process.
Who were onboard the flight?
In total there were 33 Nepali passengers, with 32 from Bangladesh, one from China and one from the Maldives on the plane. The two pilots and two cabin crew members were from Bangladesh. In total there were 71 people onboard the aircraft.
What was the cause of the crash?
The flight, UBG 211, was en route to Kathmandu from Dhaka, Bangladesh. The aircraft took off from Dhaka and landed at the airport at 2:20 pm (local time). Plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the football ground where the plane crashed. Adding that the plane became unstable while descending, officials said that they still have to ascertain the reason behind it.
Raj Kumar Chettri, the general manager of the hill-ringed airport said that moments after the plane received permission to land, the pilot said he wanted to go in a northern direction. Asked by the control tower if there was a problem, he replied in the negative. The plane was then seen making two rounds in a northeast direction, Chettri said. Traffic controllers again asked the pilot if things were OK, and he replied, “Yes”. The tower then told the pilot his alignment was not correct, but there was no reply, Chettri added. “The plane should have come from the right direction,” Chettri said, adding that it hit the airport fence, touched the ground and then caught fire. It was not immediately clear if the pilot had issued a “Mayday” call or distress signal.
What exactly happened during the landing?
Recounting the incident, Basanta Bohora, one of the survivors of the plane crash 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. I have no recollection after I got out of the plane. I have received injuries to my head and legs but I am fortunate that I survived the ordeal,” as reported by The Kathmandu Post.
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How many crashes have happened in the past in Nepal?
The accident was the latest to hit mountainous Nepal, which has a poor record of air safety. Small aircraft ply an extensive domestic network and often run into trouble at remote airstrips. In September 2012, a Sita Air turboprop plane carrying trekkers to Mount Everest hit a bird and crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 19 on board. In 1992, a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok crashed while trying to land in Kathmandu in 1992 killing all on board.
(With inputs from agencies)