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Plane crashes at Kathmandu airport, killing at least 38

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A Bangladeshi plane carrying 71 passengers and crew has crashed while coming into land at Kathmandu's international airport, with police saying at least 38 people have been killed and 23 injured.

An Army spokesman said the death toll could be at least 50.

The police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media, said 10 people remained unaccounted for in the crash.

External Link: Facebook post: Video of black smoke from a plane crash at Kathmandu international airport

The plane, a US-Bangla Airlines twin-propeller Bombardier Dash 8 flying from Bangladesh, swerved repeatedly before it crashed near the runway.

Clouds of thick, dark smoke could be seen rising above the hilltop Tribhuvan International Airport, which was immediately shut down.

An airport official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of airport policy, said the plane appeared to have caught fire just before it landed and skidded to a stop in a field beside the runway.

Amanda Summers, an American who works in Nepal, watched the crash happen from the terrace of her home office, not far from the airport.

"It was flying so low I thought it was going to run into the mountains," she said.

"All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast."

Rescue workers stand in front of plane wreckage.

Selim, the US-Bangla manager, said the plane had circled the airport twice as it waited for clearance to land.

Kathmandu's airport has been the site of several deadly crashes.

In September 2012, a Sita Air turboprop plane carrying trekkers to Mount Everest hit a bird and crashed shortly after take off, killing all 19 on board.

US-Bangla is a private Bangladeshi carrier which operates Boeing 737-800 and smaller Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400 planes.

The airline, part of US-Bangla Group, is based in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, and flies to several domestic and international destinations.

The parent company is involved in a number of industries, including real estate, education and agriculture.

External Link: Tweet images of kathmandu aeroplane crash

AP/Reuters

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