The plane, operated by US-Bangla Airlines, was on a flight from Bangladesh capital Dhaka. It hit an airport fence while landing and burst into flames, eyewitnesses said.
Airport officials and army personnel engaged in rescue operation said they have recovered 50 dead bodies and those in critical condition had been sent to nearby hospitals. Kamrul Islam, a spokesman of the Dhaka-based airline, said the plane was carrying 67 passengers — 32 from Bangladesh, 33 from Nepal and one each from China and the Maldives.
Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli visited the crash site to take stock of the situation and said that a commission would look into the crash.
Local media quoted a survivor as saying that when the plane approached the Tribhuvan International Airport for landing, it shook violently and “there was a loud bang afterwards.” Basanta Bohora, an employee of Raswita International Travels and Tours, said there were 16 Nepalis on the flight. They all had gone to Bangladesh for training.
Bangladesh’s Civil Aviation Authority chairman Air Vice Marshal M Naim Hassan told a media briefing that a three-member investigation committee had been constituted which would go to Nepal as soon as the Kathmandu airport was reopened.
“We are in constant touch with Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority,” he said. The airline’s chief executive officer Asif Imran said until the flight recorder or black box was recovered it would be impossible to “tell you about the actual reason of the accident.”