Investigators are trying to establish what caused an aircraft crash in Nepal which killed at least 49 people.
The 17-year-old Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop carrying 71 passengers and crew, crashed while landing at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport yesterday.
Witnesses reported by the BBC said there was a loud bang and that the aircraft shook violently while people wept and chanted.
The aircraft was flying from the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka and was operated by Bangladesh airline US-Bangla. The cause of the worst aviation disaster to occur in Nepal in years remains unclear.
While the airline blames air traffic control, the airport says the aircraft landed from the wrong direction. Of the 22 survivors, 11 are Nepali while 11 are Bangladeshi nationals.
Survivors described the chaotic moments when the aircraft went down.
“After the crash I was trying to [get] out of the plane because it was on fire but I could not, my hand and leg was trapped,” Keshav Pandey told BBC Nepali.
“I was on the seat by the side of the emergency door, [so] maybe I fell outside when [security came] and they opened the door. After that I don’t remember anything, I was unconscious.”
Sharin Ahmed, a 29-year old teacher from Bangladesh, said: “There was a huge fire outside and smoke gushed into our cabin. Then there was [an] explosion. The fire was extinguished and we were rescued outside.”
The Himalayan nation has a poor history for air safety, with more than 70 crashes involving aircraft and helicopters since 1949, the year the first aircraft landed there.
Most accidents have been attributed to bad weather, inexperienced pilots and inadequate maintenance.
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