A US-Bangla Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 twin turbo prop aircraft flying from Dhaka to Kathmandu has crashed while landing at Tribhuvan International Airport on Monday. “The plane shot off the runway while it was about to crash into the hanger and immediately caught fire,” an airport official said.
Firefighters battled to extinguish the burning wreckage and rescue passengers. Live footage posted on Facebook showed the towering columns of smoke rising behind the runway, where another plane stood waiting on the tarmac.71 persons, including four crew members, were on-board the aircraft and twenty-five people were rescued and taken to Kathmandu Medical College, Teaching Hospital in Sinamangal, but later eight of those rescued were pronounced dead.
The airport has been closed. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa and Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams have reached the airport. “It was flying so low I thought it was going to run into the mountains,” she said. She said it was unclear if it had reached the runway when it landed. “All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast,” a witness said. US-Bangla Airlines is a unit of the US-Bangla Group, a US Bangladeshi joint venture company. The Bangladeshi carrier launched operations in July 2014 and operates Bombardier Inc and Boeing aircraft. Nepal has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years, dealing a blow to its tourist industry.