Nepal police say at least 38 dead in plane crash


At least 49 people were killed when the Bangladeshi plane crashed and burst into flames near Kathmandu airport in the worst aviation disaster to hit Nepal in almost three decades.

The plane, which was en route to Kathmandu from Dhaka, had 33 Nepali, 32 Bangladeshi, one Chinese and one Maldivian passenger on board.

One of the survivors, Nepalese travel agent Basanta Bohora, described from his hospital bed what he had experienced.

"Over 50 people are feared dead".

Twenty-two people, including 9 Bangladeshis, have been rescued alive and taken to hospitals, said the statement.

"The aircraft was permitted to land from the southern side of the runway over Koteshwor but it landed from the northern side", Gautam said.

"All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast", she said.

"The plane flew past just above the air-traffic control tower during its descent for landing".

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Moments later, the controller comes back on, using a panicked tone rarely heard in such conversations, and tells the pilot, "I say again, turn!"

Dozens have been killed in a plane crash at Kathmandu International Airport in Nepal.

It was not immediately clear if the pilot had issued a "Mayday" call, or distress signal. Several bodies that lay on the tarmac, covered with yellow cloth, were charred.

A huge cloud of smoke was seen rising from the airport, say eyewitnesses. Then it lost more altitude and finally crashed.

After a normal take-off from Dhaka, the 17-year-old Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop had begun to behave strangely as it approached Kathmandu, he said.

Kathmandu's airport was closed briefly following the accident, forcing other inbound flights to divert.

The airline and airport authorities blamed each other in the aftermath of Monday's aviation disaster, the worst suffered by the Himalayan country since a 1992 Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crash which claimed 167 lives. Small aircraft ply an extensive domestic network and often run into trouble at remote airstrips. Just two months earlier, a Thai Airways aircraft crashed near the same airport, killing 113 people.

On Monday, the airline's chief executive Imran Asif said there had been a "fumble from the control tower" as the plane approached the airport's single runway. This is the most severe air crash at the Kathmandu airport after a Turkish Airlines flight crash-landed in March 2015. The incident occurred during the landing but there were no injuries reported.