In the worst aviation disaster to hit Nepal in almost three decades, a US-Bangla Airlines aircraft flying from Dhaka to Kathmandu crashed while landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), killing 49 persons on board.
Bangladesh's Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism AKM Shahjahan Kamal and Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali were in Nepal taking stock of the situation. Asked by the control tower if there was a problem, he replied in the negative.
"It was flying northwards and it was much too low", said Amanda Summers, a retired American residing in Kathmandu. According to the BBC, since 1949, when the first aircraft landed in the country, more than 70 aircraft and helicopter drops have been recorded. "The captain then asked for Runway 20 (from Pashupati Nath area) permission turning his flight to the east from its previous location", one of the officers of TIA said.
Imran Asif, CEO of US-Bangla Airlines, told reporters in Dhaka, "We can not claim this definitely at the moment, but we are suspecting that Kathmandu ATC tower might have misled our pilots to land on the wrong runway".
There seemed to have been misunderstanding between the plane and air traffic control regarding the direction from which the airplane should approach the landing strip.
"'The plane should have come from the right direction, ' Chettri said, adding that it hit the airport fence, touched the ground and then caught fire".
He added after making rounds over Runway 20 landing location, the flight suddenly tried to make a final approach towards Runway 02. "I say again, turn!" he says.
One of the survivors remembers how fire broke out, but he cannot remember how he got out of the plane.
US-Bangla operates Boeing 737-800 and smaller Bombardier Dash 8 planes, including the Q400, the model that crashed.
Those aboard included 33 Nepali passengers, with 32 from Bangladesh, one from China and one from the Maldives. Bombardier is a twin-engine, medium-range and turboprop aircraft.
An AP journalist who arrived at the scene soon after the crash saw the twin-propeller plane broken into several large pieces, with dozens of firefighters and rescue workers clustered around the wreckage in a grassy field near the runway. The parent company, part of US-Bangla Group, is also involved in real estate, education and agriculture.
The airline also denied a media report that the aircraft had skidded off the runway during a domestic flight in 2015, saying it "never, ever encountered any accident".