Cloudy weather led to a Bangladeshi plane crashing in Nepal on Monday, killing 49 people in the process. The plane is said to have crashed while trying to land at the airport of the Nepalse capital, which is surrounded by hills.
Imran Asif, US-Bangla Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, opted to point the finger towards wrong signals provide by the air traffic control of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city. However, Raj Kumar Chettri, the general manager of the airport, was of the opinion that their messages had been ignored by the pilot, who descended from the wrong direction. He added, that the plane arriving from Dhaka had 71 people on board and it happened to touch the fence at Kathmandu, and crashed as it burst into flames.
Among those 71 people, 33 of them were from Nepal, 32 from Bangladesh and one each from China and Maldives.
Basanta Bohora, one of the survivors of the crash, told a local newspaper the events that unfolded and said the plane started to shake suddenly and was followed by a loud bang. He said he had been able to survive by breaking out of the window, near which he sat.
Nepal has a poor safety record given the mountainous nature of the country. It is comprised of a network that is quite extensive and incidents are very common at remote airports.
The Executive Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Sanjiv Gautam, told reporters that a total of 49 people were killed in the crash, as 22 were under medical treatment. The survivors had been rescued from the wreckage were currently in hospitals, according to an army spokesman Gokul Bhandari. He added that the aircraft that crashed was from the Bombardier Q400 series.
It is claimed by Chettri that the pilot wanted to go towards north after receiving permission to land. When the control room inquired as to there being a problem, the pilot replied there wasn’t. The pilot then made two rounds in the north-eastern direction, and replied in positive when asked if everything was okay. He was then informed by the control room that he wasn’t aligned in the right direction, to which there was no reply.
Asif, from US-Bangla Airlines, had a different opinion as he said that the cause of the crash might have been wrong signals. He told reporters that a 3-minute conversation was held between the pilot and air-traffic control, and they had provided him with wrong directions.
Kathmandu has been at the center of multiple such incidents in the past. Two incidents occurred in March 2014, as a jet of Malaysia Airlines had its windshield shattered by birds. A rear wheel of an Indian budget airline aircraft Airbus A320, also caught fire after landing, In 2012, trekkers traveling to Mount Everest in an aircraft, crashed in Kathmandu as all the people on board were killed. Another plane crashed previously in 1992 in Kathmandu, as all 113 people aboard a flight of Thai Airways from Bangkok lost their lives.