At least 27 killed in Kathmandu plane crash

Crash The passenger flight from Dhaka Bangladesh landed in Kathmandu Nepal but ended up careening off the runway and crashing in a nearby field

Kathmandu: A US-Bangla Airlines aircraft Monday crashed and burst into flames while landing at Nepal's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) here, killing more than 50 people, a top Nepalese official said.

The plane caught fire and a plume of smoke could be seen above the airport.

Kathmandu airport briefly closed after the accident, forcing inbound flights to divert, but it has since reopened.

"All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang afterwards", he told the Kathmandu Post.

Data from tracking website showed the aircraft was 17 years old.

Meanwhile, speaking to the Army 53 aircraft which is on hold about 10 kilometres away, the ATC says the Bangladesh aircraft is "on final for 20".

However, mountainous Nepal is notorious for aircraft accidents in the past.

Nepali rescue workers gather around the debris of an airplane that crashed near the worldwide airport in Kathmandu on March 12, 2018.

In February 2016, 23 people were killed when a small plane crashed on a mountainside in western Nepal. The Canadian-made Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 model has had some issues with its landing gear in the past, he said, but has been involved in only one previous fatal crash, a Colgan Airways crash in Buffalo in 2009 that left 50 dead.

"I have no recollection after I got out of the plane", he said.

Though the exact cause of the crash was not immediately clear but authorities did not rule out the possibility of an engine failure or other technical snag.

The plane, operated by US-Bangla Airlines, was on a flight from Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

Out of the passengers, 33 were Nepalese, 32 were Bangladeshis while one each was from China and Maldives.

A recording purportedly of the conversation between the controller and pilot has been published online. Accidents are common and Nepal-based airlines are banned from flying in European Union airspace.

In September 2012, a Sita Air turboprop plane carrying trekkers to Mount Everest hit a bird and crashed shortly after take off, killing all 19 on board.

The US-Bangla Airlines is a privately-owned Bangladeshi airline headquartered in Dhaka.

The Bangladeshi carrier launched operations in July 2014 and operates Bombardier Inc and Boeing aircraft.

"I saw the plane make a sharp turn over the terminal back towards south and then disappeared towards the runway". There were no reports of injuries.

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