Plane crashes, catches fire in Kathmandu, at least 50 dead

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - WEATHER -

KATHMANDU, NEPAL » A plane car­ry­ing 71 peo­ple from Bangladesh swerved er­rat­i­cally and flew dan­ger­ously low be­fore crash­ing and erupt­ing in flames as it landed Mon­day in Kathmandu, Nepal’s cap­i­tal, killing at least 50 peo­ple, of­fi­cials and wit­nesses said.

A top air­port of­fi­cial said the pi­lot of US-Bangla Air­lines flight BS211 did not fol­low land­ing in­struc­tions from the con­trol tower and had ap­proached the air­port’s one run­way from the wrong di­rec­tion.

“The air­plane was not prop­erly aligned with the run­way. The tower re­peat­edly asked if the pi­lot was OK and the re­ply was ‘yes,’ ” said Raj Ku­mar Chetri, the air­port’s gen­eral man­ager.

But a record­ing of the con­ver­sa­tions be­tween the pi­lot and air traf­fic con­trollers in­di­cated con­fu­sion. In the record­ing, con­ver­sa­tion veers re­peat­edly about whether the pi­lot should land on the air­port’s sin­gle run­way from the south or the north.

— The As­so­ci­ated Press

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