At least 40 people were killed and 23 injured when a Bangladeshi plane crashed and burst into flames near Kathmandu airport on Monday, making it the worst aviation disaster to hit Nepal in years.
There were 71 people on board the US-Bangla Airlines plane from Dhaka when it crashed into a football field near the airport. Rescuers had to cut apart the mangled and burned wreckage of the aircraft to pull people out. “Thirty-one people died at the spot and nine died at two hospitals in Kathmandu,” police spokesman Manoj Neupane. Another 23 were injured.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but a statement from airport authorities said the plane was “out of control” as it came in to land. Eyewitnesses said the plane crashed as it made a second attempt to land. Seven of the victims had survived the impact but later died of their injuries.
Airline spokesman Kamrul Islam said that 33 of the passengers were Nepali, 32 were Bangladeshi, one was Chinese and one from the Maldives. “There might be technical problems on the aircraft. But it has to be probed before making a final statement,” Rahman told AFP.
Update: Toll rises to at least 49 people killed in Kathmandu, Nepal, plane crash. Police say 22 survivors are hospitalized.