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