Mar 12, 2018-Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) General Manager Rajkumar Chhetri said the US-Bangla plane crashed at Kathmandu airport due to missed approach.
“The plane flew past just above the air-traffic control tower during its descent for landing. It touched down the ground just next to a parked plane and ploughed through a fence on the east side of the airport, and plunged into the lower ground,” said Chhetri. “Security personnel from Nepal Army and Nepal Police rushed for rescue operation due to timely fire control alert. Had the intensity of fire I saw continued for 10 more minutes, the situation would have been even more dreadful.”
Airport officials said the Bangla plane narrowly escaped from hitting the tail of Thai Airways plane parked at the airport.
Chhetri said when the aircraft approached ‘nine nautical miles’ the airport officials permitted it to land from south (02), but the pilot took the plane towards north (02) for landing. “When control tower asked the pilot if there was any problem, the pilot said everything is okay. However, instead of landing from the north side, the plane went towards north-east and made two rounds,” said Chhetri. “Again the tower asked the pilot why he didn’t land the plane and enquired if he was okay. In reply, the pilot said all is fine and he was preparing to land. The alignment of the plane was not properly adjusted for landing. When the air-traffic controller informed about the alignment, there was no response. And then the plane descended from close to airport tower towards the right side (near army hangar),” he added.
He said the details about the passengers would be made public after consulting Bangla counter at TIA.
The plane 78-seater Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft crashed at TIA at 2:18. Forty-nine people died and 22 others injured in crash. There were 71 people on board the ill-fated aircraft including 33 Nepali.