49 dead as plane crashes at Kathmandu airport in Nepal

  • 49 dead as plane crashes at Kathmandu airport in Nepal

49 dead as plane crashes at Kathmandu airport in Nepal

Just before landing, the pilot asked, "Are we cleared to land?"

On Monday, Kathmandu airport officials said they had asked the pilots if they faced a problem after the aircraft changed course in the final descent, but the pilots said they did not. "It was not immediately clear if the pilot had issued a "Mayday" call, or distress signal".

"There is certainly considerable confusion from air traffic as to which runway the aircraft actually wants to land on", said Britain-based aviation expert Andrew Blackie, who has reviewed the recordings.

In response, the controller tells the pilot, "I say again, turn!" in a tone that is rarely used in air traffic communications.

"They appear to be extremely disoriented", a man said in Nepali, watching as Flight BS211 made its approach, though it was not clear if the voice belonged to a pilot or the tower.

Witnesses said there was a loud bang and that the plane shook violently while people wept inside the aircraft and chanted.

Chettri said most global flights are directed to runway 02 but depending on wind conditions, flights are also requested to use 20.

Nepal Police Spokesperson DIG Manoj Neupane said 12 of the survivors have been admitted at Kathmandu Medical College Hospital, four at Norvic Hospital, three at Grande Hospital, one at Om Hospital, and one at Medicity.

Officials at Kathmandu Medical College, the closest hospital to Nepal's only global airport, said they were treating 16 survivors of the Q400 crash, whose earlier versions were called Dash 8.

The probe panel has also briefed the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh with the available details of the crash.

"It (Q400) has been created to be robust and reliable in consideration to high cycle demands of regional airlines", she said in an interview.

"The flight data recorder has been recovered, we have kept it safely", said Raj Kumar Chettri, the airport's general manager, adding that an investigation had begun into the cause of the crash.

Meanwhile, a Bangladeshi delegation led by Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism A.K.M. Shahjahan Kamal has landed in Kathmandu to discuss the fateful incident with Nepali authorities and to meet the survivors. "Someone took me to Sinamangal hospital and from there my friends brought me to Norvic", he said. By late Tuesday morning, four bodies had been identified.

In early 2016, another turboprop aircraft crashed into the Nepalese mountains, killing 23 people on board.

Relatives of the passengers from Bangladesh arrived in Kathmandu late Tuesday afternoon and were escorted to the hospital by airline officials.

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

All 49 people on board were killed on February 12, 2009 when a Colgan Air flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, stalled and crashed into a house while preparing to land at the airport.

The full-service airline is based in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, and flies to several domestic and global destinations.

Kathmandu's airport has been the site of several deadly crashes.