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Passenger plane crash kills 50 at Kathmandu airport

Daily Mail

Dozens of people have been killed in a plane crash at an airport in Kathmandu, Nepal on Monday. 

The flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, landed on the Tribhuvan International Airport in  Nepal, but ended up careening off the runway and crashing, bursting into flames.

Nepal army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Gokul Bhandari, said 50 people had died and the fate of the others was unknown.

Earlier in the day, a police official said at least 38 people had died, 23 had been injured and ten were unaccounted for.

Several passengers rescued are reported to have later died in hospital.

‘We just pulled out dead bodies and injured from the debris,’ government spokesman Narayan Prasad Duwadi told AFP.

Airport spokesman Prem Nath Thakur said: ‘There were 67 passengers and 4 crew members aboard the plane.’

‘So far 20 injured have been taken to the hospital. Police and army are trying to cut apart the plane to rescue others,’ he added.

Live footage posted on Facebook showed the towering columns of smoke rising behind the runway, where another plane stood waiting on the tarmac.

Emergency vehicles appeared to be heading into the smoke as people watched from a distance or filmed on their mobile phones.

Amanda Summers, an American who works in Nepal, watched the crash happen from the terrace of her home office.

‘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,’ she said.

Nepal has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years, dealing a blow to its tourist industry.

Its poor air safety record has been blamed largely on inadequate maintenance, inexperienced pilots and substandard management.

In early 2016, a Twin Otter turboprop aircraft slammed into a mountainside in Nepal killing all 23 people on board.

Two days later, two pilots were killed when a small passenger plane crash-landed in the country’s hilly midwest.

 

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Tokunbo David
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