Dozens killed in US-Bangla Airlines crash in Kathmandu

At least 49 confirmed dead when plane from Dhaka crash-lands at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport.

Nepalese rescuers stand near a passenger plane from Bangladesh that crashed at the airport in Kathmandu [AP]
Nepalese rescuers stand near a passenger plane from Bangladesh that crashed at the airport in Kathmandu [AP]

The US-Bangla Airlines “caught fire after it careened off the runway during landing and crashed onto a football ground near TIA”, the Kathmandu Post reported on Monday.

Manoj Neupane, deputy inspector general for the Nepali police, told Al Jazeera that at least 40 people were killed at the crash site, while nine others died in the hospital.

At least 22 passengers are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the city, he said.

UPDATE First footage showing a huge cloud of smoke into the air near Kathmandu airport. Updates:

BREAKING First picture from crash site, the turboprop aircraft appears to be a Bombardier Dash-8 Q400. Updates:

View image on Twitter
 The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft took off from the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, to the Himalayan capital on Monday morning.

Images first posted on social media showed workers at the airport standing at the runway and grounds, as thick smoke was seen rising in the background.

Rescuers were later seen crowding around the plane, which was turned upside-down and badly burned.

In Dhaka, Kamrul Hasan, general manager of the airlines, said based on the passenger list, there were 33 Nepali nationals onboard the flight.

At least 32 others were from Bangladesh, one from China and one from The Maldives.

He said two airline officials are awaiting a flight to Kathmandu to help gather more information about the incident.

Relatives of some of the passengers were seen in front of US-Bangla Airlines office at Dhaka’s Baridhara district, demanding to know what happened to their family members.

SM Abul Kalam Azad, brother of a government official who was on-board the plane, was seen crying outside the airline office.

Azad told Al Jazeera he does not know whether his sister, Umme Salima, is alive or dead. Salima, a Planning Ministry official left for Nepal for a three-day official visit.

Meanwhile the embassy of Bangladesh in Kathmandu has opened a hotline for family members and friends of the passengers.

In 2012, at least 19 people were killed after a small plane flying towards Mount Everest crashed on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

During the same year, at least 15 people were also killed when a plane taking tourists to the high-altitude airport near Annapurna crashed.

With additional reporting by Roshan Sedhai in Kathmandu and Faisal Mahmud in Dhaka.


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