A flight data recorder has been found from the wreckage of a Bangladeshi passenger plane that crashed on Monday afternoon near the airport in Nepal's Capital Kathmandu. An investigation into what causes the crash has started, Reuters quoted the airport's General Manager Raj Kumar Chettri as saying.
"We are suspecting that the Kathmandu air traffic control tower might have misled our pilots to land on the wrong runway", he said.
In a recording by air traffic monitoring website liveatc.net, the pilot can be heard asking for permission to land the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 from the north, which is granted by the air traffic controller.
Kamrul Imran, the head of Public Relations for US Bangla said that there were total 71 passengers on the plane including crew. At least 49 people are reportedly dead while others have been rescued.
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Mountainous Nepal is notorious for air accidents and has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years, dealing a blow to its tourist industry.
"It was flying so low I thought it was going to run into the mountains", she said.
"Our ATC permitted the aircraft to land from the southern side of the runway but it changed its route and attempted to land from northern side", said Chettri.
Among the passengers were 33 Nepali nationals, 32 Bangladeshis, one Chinese national and one Maldivian national, CAAN Tribhuvan International Airport Office said at a press conference this evening.
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"They will also discuss the possible reasons for the crash with Nepali authorities", reported Kathmandu Post. Eventually the plane made an attempt to land on the runway it was originally meant to use, but crashed short of it, broke into pieces and caught fire. We were all scared that everything was done in front of our eyes, "said a woman who was on another plane at the same airport". Traffic controllers again asked the pilot if things were OK, and he replied, "Yes".
As soon as the plane crashed in a football field, emergency services were rushed to the spot.
The incident came a day after all 11 people on board a private Turkish Challenger 604 business jet crashed and burst into flames on an Iranian mountainside while bringing a wealthy businessman's daughter and her friends home from a Dubai bachelorette party. The parent company, part of US-Bangla Group, is also involved in real estate, education and agriculture.
In early 2016, a Twin Otter turboprop aircraft slammed into a mountainside in Nepal killing all 23 people on board.
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