KATHMANDU, Nepal - A plane operated by the U.S.-Bangla Airlines plane veered off Nepal’s Kathmandu runway, leaving 49 people dead on Monday.
The plane, which was flying from the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, was carrying 67 passengers and four crew members and crashed while landing at the airport.
The police said that after a raging fire was put out, rescuers pulled bodies from the charred wreckage of the plane.
Flight BS211, a 17-years-old Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop, veered off the runway while landing at the airport and while the airport has said that the plane approached from the wrong direction, while the airline has blamed the air traffic control.
According to flight tracking website FlightRadar24, the plane landed at 14:20 local time (08:35 GMT).
Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post, "The aircraft was permitted to land from the southern side of the runway flying over Koteshwor, but it landed from the northern side. We are yet to ascertain the reason behind the unusual landing."
Meanwhile, the U.S.-Bangla Airlines chief executive Imran Asif blamed Kathmandu air traffic control and told reporters, "There were wrong directions from the tower. Our pilot was not at fault. Our pilot is an instructor of this Bombardier aircraft. His flight hours are over 5,000. There was a fumble from the control tower."
However, so far, the exact cause of the crash remains unclear.
Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli vowed an immediate investigation in the incident in his statement on Monday.
Later, local media released a recording of the conversation between the pilot and air traffic control minutes before the plane crashed.
The recording reportedly suggested there was some misunderstanding over which end of the sole runway the plane was cleared to land on.
In the recording, moments before the plane crash-landed, an air traffic controller is heard from air traffic monitor LiveATC telling the pilot, "I say again, turn!"
The Airport general manager Raj Kumar Chettri has said that the plane hit the airport fence before touching ground and added, “The plane should have come from the right direction.”
Meanwhile, police spokesperson Manoj Neupane told reporters that 22 people were being treated in the hospital after suffering grave injuries.
According to officials, 33 of the passengers were Nepalis, 32 were Bangladeshi, one was Chinese and one was from the Maldives.