Nepal plane crash: Airport and airline authorities blame each other, investigation underway

Crash The passenger flight from Dhaka Bangladesh landed in Kathmandu Nepal but ended up careening off the runway and crashing in a nearby field

Crash The passenger flight from Dhaka Bangladesh landed in Kathmandu Nepal but ended up careening off the runway and crashing in a nearby field

A US-Bangna Bangladeshi plane with 69 passengers on board crashed near Kathmandu airport Monday as it was coming in to land, officials said, as fire fighters battled to extinguish the burning wreckage and rescue passengers.

Six officers stationed at the Air Traffic Control Tower who witnessed the US-Bangla plane crash in Kathmandu have been shifted to another department to "minimize shock of the accident", reports Nepali newspaper My Republica.

The airline's chief executive Imran Asif said on Monday that there had been a "fumble from the control tower" as the plane approached the airport's single runway.

Nepalese rescuers attend to bodies of victims after a passenger plane from Bangladesh crashed at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, March 12, 2018.

According to general manager at the TIA, Raj Kumar Chhettri, the plane crashed at 2:18 pm when it took a missed approach touching down the fencing area next to the parked planes at the airport. The last four minutes of the conversation between the pilot and Air Traffic Control at the airport indicates a possible confusion in the mind of the pilot about Runway 02 (the southern end) and Runway 20 (the northern end), a Nepalese newspaper reported. Police spokesman Manoj Neupane said Tuesday that 49 people were confirmed to have been killed and 22 injured.

It is the worst aviation disaster to hit Nepal in years.

"It was flying so low I thought it was going to run into the mountains", she said. "Yes TIA is narrow and we are in need of new global airports but claims of infrastructure being the reason behind the crash is unfounded", said Gautam.

"Hence, we've transferred them to other departments to reduce their stress post-crash", Rajan Pokharel, Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation Authority said. Eventually the plane made an attempt to land on the runway it was originally meant to use, but crashed short of it, broke into pieces and caught fire. The pilot then says, "Cleared to land Runaway 02", even though he had sought permission for 20.

According to the airline, the plane was carrying 32 passengers from Bangladesh, 33 from Nepal and one each from China and the Maldives.

Turboprops like the Bombardier Dash 8 had an excellent safety record initially. The airlines is a unit of the US-Bangla Group, a US Bangladeshi joint venture company. As many as 71 people were on board out of whom 36 were from Bangladesh.

"There was a mess, people were running on the aircraft, many ambulances and firefighters".

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