Dhaka – Nepalese authorities have launched an investigation into the deadly plane crash at Tribhuvan International Airport, officials said on Tuesday.
A Kathmandu-bound US-Bangla flight from Dhaka with 71 people aboard crashed in Nepal airport on Monday leaving at least 50 people killed and 21 others injured.
The private Bangladeshi airlines say confusion over communication between the airport control tower and the pilot might have caused the mishap as the message from the tower was puzzling.
Audio recordings of the conversation between the tower and pilot show apparent confusion over the runway approach at Kathmandu airport as the audio has been went viral on the social media.
The plane burst into fire as it crashed into a football ground near the airport.
Nepalese aviation authorities say they had recovered the flight data recorder from the charred wreckage of the plane.
The airline’s chief executive Imran Asif said on Monday that there had been a “fumble from the control tower” as the plane approached the airport’s single runway.
Recordings of the conversation between air traffic control and the pilot appear to indicate confusion over which end of the airport’s single runway the plane was to approach.
Air traffic control can initially be heard clearing the plane to land from the southern approach.
“You are going towards runway 20,” the controller is heard saying seconds later, referring to the northern end of the tarmac.
A series of confused messages follow just before the crash in which the pilot says they will land at “runway 20” and then “runway 02” — the southern end.
The US-Bangla airlines sent a seven-member team of investigators to determine what actually caused the accident. It also transported more than 40 relatives of plane crash victims to Kathmandu on Tuesday.
The plane hit the runway and skidded through an airport fence, leaving a trail of fuel and coming to a stop in a field where it burst into flames.
Twenty-two passengers — mostly sitting on the plane’s right side — managed to free themselves from burning wreckage by climbing through the plane’s windows or were pulled from the fuselage by passengers and rescuers, according to media report.
Kathmandu airport lies in a bowl-shaped valley with the Himalayas to the north, making it a notoriously challenging place for pilots to land.
Nepal suffered more than 20 aviation accidents in the last decade, mostly involving small planes on domestic routes.