Mix-up claim as crash kills 49 in Nepal

Kathmandu Airport Nepal

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal today left for Nepal to monitor personally the latest situation of the yesterday's deadly crash of the US-Bangla Airlines plane at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu that left almost 50 people dead.

US-Bangla operates Boeing 737-800 and smaller Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400 planes, the model of the plane that crashed.

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

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

The airport's general manager, Raj Kumar Chetri, says the pilot of the plane didn't follow landing instructions from the control tower, and the plane "was not properly aligned with the runway".

Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, told India's Hindustan Times newspaper that the aircraft was supposed to land from the southern side of the runway but that it flew in from the northern side.

"The last recorded words of the US-Bangla pilot is: "[Unintelligible] said sir, are we cleared to land?"

At least 49 people were killed of the 71 people on board on Monday, as the pilot tried to land at the Tribhuvan International Airport.

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.

US-Bangla Airlines, a private carrier based in Bangladesh, set up a hotline for information on the fate of those aboard its Flight BS211. The airline has blamed the air traffic control, but the airport says the plane approached from the wrong direction, reported BBC.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli telephoned his Bangladesh counterpart and expressed sorrow at the loss of lives in the crash.

The 67 passengers on board included 32 Bangladeshis, 33 Nepalese, a Chinese and a Maldivian.

All the flights to and from TIA have been halted after the crash.

"It is yet to be identified whether the pilot or air traffic control was wrong", he said, adding the investigation would be carried out with Bangladesh.

"I was afraid it was going to hit a Malindo Airlines plane".

In May, 2012, Agni Air's Dornier 228-212 (9N-AIG) crashed near Jomsom Airport in Mustang, killing 15 people. The parent company is involved in a number of industries, including real estate, education and agriculture.

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