By Our Reporter
At least 45 passengers and all four crew members were killed when an aircraft of the US Bangla Air with call sign BS-211 crashed while landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport on Monday afternoon. The plane had left Dhaka, Bangladesh, for Kathmandu carrying 71 passengers, including four crew members.
According to the Nepal Police, 49 passengers and crew members died in the crash while 22 people were taken to various hospitals of the Kathmandu Valley.
Of the deceased, 31 bodies were recovered from the accident site while 18 were pronounced dead in different hospitals.
The plane met the accident towards the east corner of the runway while landing.
Immediately after the plane skidded off the runway, rescue teams of the Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force reached the accident sites, brought the fire under control and rescued the passengers. However, most of the passengers who were sitting in the backside of the plane died as they were unable to come out of the aircraft due to smoke and flames. Many of them were trapped in the seats when the plane forcefully hit the ground.
Speaking at a press conference organised Monday evening Raj Kumar Chhetri, General Manager of the Tribhuvan International Airport, said the airplane met the fatal accident because of the errors committed by the crew members.
“The ground alignment during its landing at the TIA is not in right position,” said Chhetri.
“When the flight came up to 9 nautical miles, our TIA tower instructed it to land from South Zero two but the flight disobeying the instruction took the direction of north Zero two side for its landing,” Chhetri said.
However, the airline authorities in Dhaka blamed the TIA tower for the crash.
Thirty three Nepali nationals, 32 Bangaldeshis, one Chinese and one Maldivian were travelling in the plane.
Of 33 Nepalis, 22 died and many of them were MBBS students who were returning home after completing their course in a Dhaka-based university. Dr. B. K. Shrestha, senior neuron surgeon of B. P. Memorial Hospital Chitwan also died in the crash.
Among the Nepalis boarding the flight are Agadesh Kumar Yadav, Kishor Tripathi, Sweta Thapa, Bal Krishna Thapa, Dayaram Tamrakaar, Hari Prasad Subedi, Saruna Shrestha, Anjila Shrestha, Sanam Shakya, Ashna Shakya, Krishna Kumar Sahani, Aashish Ranjit, Sanjaya Paudel, Hari Shanker Paudel, Binod Raj Paudel, Prashanna Pandey, Keshav Pandey, Sanjaya Marharjan, Nigam Maharjan, Mili Maharjan, Purnima Lohani, Shreya Jha, Dinesh Humagain, Gyani Kumari Gurung, Prinshi Dhami, Sajana Devkota, Prabin Chitrakar, Samira Banjankar, Basanta Bohara, Sobindra Singh Bohara, Charu Baral, Algina Baral and Sheela Bajagain.
Those who were declared dead in KMC hospital included– Hari Shanker Paudel, Rakibul Hussain, Prithula Rashid, one of the crew members, Khawaaj Hussain, one of the members of the crew, Prabin Chitrakar, Sajana Devkota and two other unidentified persons.
According to KMC Hospital, 25 passengers were admitted in the hospital.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Defense Minister Ishwor Pokharel, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Paudel and the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal had reached the incident site to take stock of the unfortunate event.
Meanwhile, the government had formed a six-member commission led by former secretary Yagya Prasad Gautam to investigate into the crash.