In Brief

Witnesses describe Nepalese plane crash that left 50 dead

Aircraft was seen flying low and erratically moments before impact at airport

A plane carrying 71 people from Bangladesh to Nepal crashed and burst into flames at the airport in Kathmandu yesterday, killing at least 50 people.

Witnesses said the plane was seen swerving erratically and flying very low in the lead up to the accident.

“It was flying northwards and it was much too low. I thought at first that maybe it was extra cloud cover that was forcing the plane to fly low,” witness Amanda Summers told CNN.

“Then I saw the plane change direction almost completely and it was flying straight towards us. Then it lost more altitude and finally crashed,” she said.

Nepalese officials said the of US-Bangla Airlines flight BS211 did not follow landing instructions from the control tower, and ultimately ended up approaching the single runway from the wrong direction.

“The aeroplane 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.

The Guardian reports the aircraft was carrying “33 Nepali nationals, 32 from Bangladesh and one each from China and the Maldives”, as well as four crew.

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