Nepal: Bangladeshi airplane crashes on landing at Kathmandu, 51 dead
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018
On Monday,flight 211 crashed and caught fire upon landing at in , the capital of . 49 of the 71 people aboard were killed, though by Tuesday the death toll had risen to 51 as two more passengers died in hospital.
The plane, a, was arriving at 2:18 pm (0833 UTC) from the capital, . A crew of four and 67 passengers were aboard. It crashed upon landing, coming to rest in a football field beside the runway where it caught fire.
In a video published by the Nepali newspaper, a witness, Sushil Chaudhary, described the aircraft "shaking" as it came in to land and almost hitting another plane. Then, he said, it "tilted and hit its wings and engine and crashed." Another witness spoke of seeing people escaping through windows as the plane burned.
Basanta Bohora, a surviving passenger, said: "All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang." Another, Sharin Ahmed, spoke of "a huge fire outside" and smoke "gushing" into the cabin, followed by an explosion. Keshav Pandey recalled being trapped by his hand and leg. He did not remember how he escaped from the fire, suspecting he fell out when the emergency door was opened from the outside.
The aircraft was 17 years old. The passengers were mostly from Nepal and Bangladesh, with onecitizen and one from the . According to Nepal's , the dead include 28 Bangladeshis, 22 Nepalis and the Chinese passenger. The captain and co-pilot were among them.
Communication between the pilot and airport, published by the and also at , suggests confusion in the minutes leading up to the crash as to which end of the runway the plane should approach from. The pilot was first cleared to land at the northern end (called Runway 20) but later referred to the southern end (Runway 02), to which the air traffic controller then agreed. In the final moments of the recording, the controller shouts "I say again, turn!" The stated that publishing such transcripts is illegal.
Flying in Nepal can be problematic because the country is mountainous and because local weather can change rapidly, including a high risk of. According to a spokesman for the airline, Kamrul Islam, both pilots, Abid Sultan and Prithula Rashid, were experienced and had received required training for flying to Kathmandu. At the time of the crash, there was a variable crosswind and thunderstorms in the area.
There have been a number of air disasters at the Kathmandu airport. Monday's crash is the deadliest since 1992, when all 167 on board died in the crash of.
- "US-Bangla plane crash: Death toll climbs to 51" — , March 13, 2018
- Subrat Nanda. "'I Say Again, Turn': Confusion Over Runway May Have Caused Nepal Crash" — , March 13, 2018
- "Nepal plane crash survivors describe chaos" — , March 13, 2018
- Gopal Sharma and Ruma Paul. "After deadly Nepal crash, Bangladeshi airline defends pilots" — , March 12, 2018
- "Nepal air crash: 49 dead as plane veers off Kathmandu runway" — , March 12, 2018