'Pilot error' blamed for deadly Kathmandu plane crash
Published : 12 Mar 2018, 21:29:45
At least 49 people have been confirmed dead, when a US-Bangla Airlines plane carrying more than 70 people crashed in an apparent pilot error, at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, authorities said.
Manoj Neupane, deputy inspector general for the Nepali police, told Al Jazeera that at least 40 people were killed at the crash site, while nine others died in the hospital.
At least 22 passengers are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the city, he said.
Raj Kumar Chhetri, general manager at TIA, told Al Jazeera that the aircraft skidded off the runaway after landing in the "wrong direction against the order of the control room".
"The control room had given permission to land from the southern end. But it landed from the northern side after making few rounds in the sky," he said.
In a press briefing, Imran Asif, CEO of US-Bangla Airlines, said the pilot of the aircraft, Abid Sultan, is injured and is getting treatment.
Asif said the airline suspects that the crash was caused by "a miscommunication" between the pilot and the control tower at the airport.
"There is a video on Youtube, which shows the conversation between the pilot and the control tower. Basing on that, we are making this assumption," he said.
Nepal's Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has called Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to "express sorrow" following the crash, Bishnu Rimal, Oli's chief political advisor, said.
The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft took off from the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, to the Himalayan capital of Khatmandu on Monday morning.
Images first posted on social media showed workers at the airport standing at the runway and grounds, as thick smoke was seen rising in the background.
Rescuers were later seen crowding around the plane, which was turned upside-down and badly burned.-Aljazeera