Survivors of the crash in Nepal describe moments of terror on the Dash 8 turboprop, which was previously owned by SAS.
Survivors of yesterday’s catastrophic plane crash in Nepal have described moments of terror as the 17-year-old Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop fell to the ground, killing at least 49 of the 71 passengers and crew on board.
The plane crashed while trying to land at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport, well known as one of the world’s most dangerous airports.
Survivors described a loud bang and violent shaking and the passengers prayed and cried. The cause of the crash remains unclear.
Nepal is one of the world’s most air disaster-prone countries, with more than 70 crashes involving planes and helicopters since 1949, the year the first aircraft landed there, the BBC reports.
Most crashes have been blamed on poor weather, inexperienced pilots and sloppy maintenance.
In this particular accident, flames engulfed the wreckage and most of the people who made it out alive crawled through windows or were sitting close to an emergency door and were rescued by teams who reached the site quickly.
Of the 22 survivors, 11 are Nepali, 11 are Bangladeshi.
Delivered to SAS
Operated by US-Bangla Airlines, a US-Bangladeshi joint venture, the plane was flying from the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.
Produced in January 2001, it was originally delivered to SAS in May of that year, where it was registered in Norway as LN-RDX. US-Bangla obtained the plane in May 2014, where it was registered as S2-AGU.
In September 2015, the plane was involved in an accident in Saidpur, Bangladesh, where it ran off the tarmac after landing. The 46 passengers and four crew were unhurt but the plane suffered damage to the right side of the landing frame.
US-Bangla Airlines has two more planes of the same type that also belonged to SAS. The Scandinavian airline decided to pull out all of these aircraft several years ago after three separate landing accidents.