Bangla Airlines' Flight Carrying 67 Crashes At Kathmandu Airport

Kathmandu Airport Nepal

The plane swerved repeatedly as it prepared to land in Kathmandu, said Amanda Summers, an American citizen working in Nepal.

Basanta Bohora, a Nepalese and one of the few passengers to escape with injuries in the deadly plane crash here today said he is lucky to be alive. "All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast", she added.

Officials say at least 50 people were killed.

An airport official confirmed that among the 67 flyers, 32 were Bangladeshis, 33 were Nepalese, one each from China and Maldives, apart from four crew members.

Rescue workers and soldiers from Nepal's army were called in to help assist survivors out of the wreckage amid thick smoke, shutting down the airport for several hours on Monday before operations reopened. The plane crashed at 2:18 pm local time.

Mark Masluch, director of communications and public affairs for Bombardier, said more than 1,000 Challenger 600 series planes have been delivered and that they are "one of the most robust and reliable aircrafts in business aviation".

The death toll among those on board the US-Bangla Airlines flight remained unclear amid the chaos of the crash, with badly injured victims being rushed to nearby hospitals.

Is there any indication of the cause of the crash?

The airline's chief executive officer Asif Imran said until the flight recorder or black box was recovered it would be impossible to "tell you about the actual reason of the accident".

More than 20 people were rescued from the plane and were sent to Kathmandu Medical College for treatment.

The 78-seater Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, with 71 people on board, was flying from Dhaka to Kathmandu.

The Dhaka-based airline made its first worldwide flight in May 2016 to Kathmandu, and has since expanded with routes to South Asia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

US-Bangla Airlines has been operating since 2014 out of its home airport in Bangladesh.

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

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

On September 4 2015, the airline saw its first incident, which happened when one of its planes skidded off the runway at Saidpur Airport.

Bombardier will investigate after planes built by the Montreal-based company crashed in Nepal on Monday and on Sunday in Iran, killing a total of about 60 people.

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