51 people died in a plane crash in Kathmandu, Nepal, on March 12th 2018, out of a total of 71 on board. 47 of those who died were passengers and four were crew members.
The US-Bangla Airlines airplane, a de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8, was approaching for landing at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport before it hit the ground and caught fire. The ill-fated plane was on its final journey from Dhaka, Bangladesh, carrying mainly Nepalese and Bangladeshis.
Cause(s) of the crash were not yet clear, of course, it is still too early, but the airline had blamed it on the air traffic control, and the airport said it was the plane that had landed from the wrong direction.
This crash has been described as the worst air crash in Nepal since 1992, when all 167 in a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crashed. The PIA accident itself was preceded just 59 days earlier by a Thai Airways International plane, in which all 113 people – 99 passengers and 14 crew members – perished when the plane crashed into the side of a mountain at 11,500 feet up as it was making its landing approach.
All in, there has been not less than 70 crashes involving planes and helicopters since 1949, the year an aircraft first landed in the country.
Nepal’s mountainous terrains (the Himalayan Range is its own backdrop, remember?), ever-changing weather system, thunderstorms, cross winds, pilot inexperience, and not the highest standards of maintenance have been said to contribute to the high number of crashes.