Passenger Plane Crashes in Kathmandu; At Least 38 Confirmed Dead
A passenger plane flying from Bangladesh crashed into the ground just short of the runway at Tribhuvan Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Monday. The US-Bangla Airlines aircraft crashed into an empty field before bursting into flames. A police official confirmed that at least 38 people were killed and 23 were injured in the crash.
US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 was traveling from Dhaka, Bangladesh (DAC) to KTM, operated by a twin-prop Bombardier Dash 8 — registration S2-AGU. According to witnesses, the aircraft was wobbling in the air and appeared to be unbalanced as it approached the runway. The tail of the prop plane slammed into the ground, fire erupted from the rear of the aircraft and a thick, dark cloud of smoke could be seen. A photojournalist at the scene said that the aircraft came to a stop about 150 feet from the runway.
"It sounded like a bomb went off," Kailash Adhikari, a driver for a fuel company at the KTM airport, told the New York Times. According to Adhikari, it took about 15 minutes for fire crew to extinguish the fire at the crash site.
According to police, there were 67 passengers and four crew on board. The latest report from the Associated Press cites a police official confirming that at least 38 people were killed and 23 injured. At this time, 10 people remain unaccounted for.
Airline officials are still trying to figure out the cause of the crash.
US-Bangla Airlines began operations in 2014, with its headquarters in Dhaka. The airline operates a fleet of four Boeing 737-800s and three Bombardier Dash 8s. The aircraft involved in Monday's crash, registration S2-AGU, is just more than 17 years old. In the past, the Dash 8 has operated flights for SAS, Royal Jordanian and Augsburg Airways. In May 2014, US-Bangla Airlines took delivery of S2-AGU.
The airline, US-Bangla, is a subsidiary of a joint American-Bangladeshi company, the US-Bangla Group.