Dhaka/Kathmandu, March 13 (IANS) Relatives of the victims of a US-Bangla airlines plane crash in Kathmandu travelled to the Himalayan nation on Tuesday to identify the deceased as investigators retrieved the flight data recorder from the wreckage of the plane.
The 78-seater Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft with 71 people on board, 36 of whom were Bangladeshi, crashed on Monday at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) during landing due to a communication error between the cockpit and the control tower, according to preliminary findings.
The horrific crash claimed the lives of 49 people, 25 of whom were from Bangladesh. Another 22 suffered injuries and were receiving treatment in hospitals, the Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry said in Dhaka.
“One of our flights already reached Kathmandu with 46 relatives and family members of victims and officials. We are now working on bringing the bodies back home and ensure medical treatment for injured victims,” a spokesman for the US-Bangla Airlines, Kamrul Islam, told Efe news.
TIA’s General Manager Raj Kumar Chettri said in Kathmandu that the flight data recorder had been recovered and an investigation into the cause of the crash begun.
The airline and airport authorities blamed each other for the aviation disaster, the worst suffered by the Himalayan country since a 1992 Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crash that claimed 167 lives.
Bangladesh’s Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism A.K.M. Shahjahan Kamal and Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali were in Nepal taking stock of the situation.
Two officials from Bangladesh’s Ministry of Planning, who were travelling to Nepal for a regional symposium on ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in South Asia, were among the dead.
Meanwhile, the Kathmandu-based Secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) conveyed condolences to the peoples and governments of Bangladesh and Nepal over the loss of lives in the horrific accident.