Dozens of passengers were reportedly killed in a Bangladeshi aircraft carrying 67 passengers as it was landing at Kathmandu airport in Nepal.
As the US-Bangla Airlines plane was landing, it slipped off the runway and fell down a slope, sliding for about 300 metres before it stopped at a football pitch, leaving a trail of twisted metal, paper and luggage along the burnt grass.
According to Nepali police, at least 38 were killed and 23 injured, with another 10 people not accounted for.
Firefighters battled to extinguish the burning wreckage and rescue passengers as plumes of black smoke rose above the site, to the east of the airport’s runway.
At least 24 badly burned bodies, some covered with cloth and others in partially sealed body bags, could be seen laid our beside the charred frame of the plane.
An eye witness, Amanda Summers, an American who works in Nepal, watched the crash happen from the terrace of her home office, not far from the airport.
In her words; “It was flying so low I thought it was going to run into the mountains,” she told AP. She said it was unclear if it had reached the runway when it landed. “All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast.”
Nepali poor air safety record has been largely blamed on inadequate maintenance, inexperienced pilots and substandard management as the country has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years, dealing a blow to its tourist industry.
In early 2016, a twin otter turboprop aircraft hit a mountainside in Nepal, killing all 23 people on board.
Two days later, two pilots were killed when a small passenger plane crash-landed in the country’s hilly mid-west.