At least 49 Casualties in Plane Crash in Nepal

Kathmandu Airport Nepal

Kathmandu Airport Nepal

A police spokesman Manoj Neupane said Tuesday that 49 people were confirmed to have been killed and 22 injured, according to the AP. "The tower repeatedly asked if the pilot was ok and the reply was "yes", said Raj Kumar Chetri, the airport's general manager.

An airport official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of airport policy, said the plane appeared to have caught fire just before it landed and skidded to a stop in a field beside the runway. The plane crashed in course of landing at the airport due to missed approach of the pilot, the authorities said.

"Over 50 people are feared dead".

Neupaney pointed out that the accident of the Bombardier, a commercial aircraft with two propellers, occurred at 14:18 local time.

Meanwhile, speaking to the Army 53 aircraft which is on hold about 10 kilometres away, the ATC says the Bangladesh aircraft is "on final for 20".

Dozens of firefighters and rescue workers responded to the site of the wreck, where scraps of the burned aircraft remained.

Survivor Sanam Shakya, who climbed out of a window of the smouldering plane, said he didn t realise the aircraft was in trouble until it hit the ground.

Airline spokesperson Kamrul Islam said 33 of the passengers were Nepali, 32 were Bangladeshi, and one each from China and the Maldives.

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But the conversations between the pilot and air traffic controllers indicated confusion over which direction the plane should land.

Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli said the nation is "saddened" by the incident.

However, airport authorities did not disclose the nationality of the crew members. The crash forced flights from India and the Middle East to be diverted to other airports.

Nepal has a poor road network and internal flights are key to accessing remote parts of the Himalayan nation.

Twenty-two passengers - mostly sitting on the plane's right side - managed to free themselves from burning wreckage by climbing through the plane's windows or were pulled from the fuselage by passengers and rescuers. Its airline companies are banned from flying within the European Union.

The Kathmandu airport has seen several crashes in the past, the most recent one being in 2012.

Todays accident is deadliest since September 1992 when all 167 people aboard a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane were killed when it crashed near the Kathmandu airport.

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