Authorities in Nepal have confirmed that a plane crash at Kathmandu airport has left 49 people dead. The plane was carrying 71 passengers when it changed direction on the runway.
Nepali authorities say the plane had an unusual landing while the airline says it was the air traffic control’s fault. The accident happened on Monday afternoon when the plane was on the runway. The plane involved in the accident is from the US-Bangla Airlines.
A police spokesperson told the BBC that 22 people are being treated in the hospital for injuries. Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has promised an investigation to find out what happened during the landing.
The director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal was quoted as saying by local media that the aircraft was given permission to land from the southern side but it landed from the northern side.
The airline has blamed air traffic control, with the chief executive of the airlines saying that there were wrong directions from the tower and that their pilot was not at fault. One survivor said at the hospital that the plane shook and there was a loud bang afterwards. He told the Kathmandu Post that he was seated near the window and was able to break the window. He does not remember what happened after getting out of the plane but said that he has injuries to his head and legs. Some of the people at the hospital are said to be in critical condition.
The airport general manager spoke to Reuters on the accident, saying that the aircraft hit the airport fence before landing. He added that the pilot told flight controllers that everything was going well before landing. He did not respond when he was told that the alignment was not correct.
The plane from the US-Bangla Airlines was 17 years old. It was carrying 67 passengers and four crew members. The Aviation Safety Net account tweeted that the accident involving this plane is the second fatal accident of this aircraft type and the seventh aircraft lost in an accident.
US-Bangla Airlines, which began operating nearly four years ago, uses two types of aircraft. On September 4 2015, the airline saw its first incident, which happened when one of its planes skidded off the runway at Saidpur Airport. The incident occurred during the landing but there were no injuries reported.