Passenger jet slides off runway, catches on fire in Nepal

A passenger plane owned by a joint Bangladeshi-U.S. firm has crashed in Kathmandu, Nepal, catching on fire after careening off the runway. The US-Bangla Airlines plane was on a flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh to Kathmandu but overshot the runway upon landing, officials told CBS News.

The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 twin turboprop was carrying 71 people when it attempted to land at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport after reportedly swerving in the air repeatedly on its approach.

Nepali police officials told the Associated Press that at least 38 people were killed and 23 others injured in the fiery crash. At least 10 people were unaccounted. A spokesman for the airline said about half of the passengers were from Bangladesh, half from Nepal, and one each from China and the Maldives.

Suresh Acharya, a press officer at Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, told CBS News the plane was carrying 67 passengers and four crew members. Fifteen passengers were rescued from the wreckage and transferred to a local hospital for treatment.

There was no immediate word on the nationality of the passengers on the plane. Videos posted to social media sites showed the plane broken into several pieces after the flames were extinguished.

The Kathmandu Post quoted a spokesperson for the airport as saying the plan slid off the runway after landing and ended up on fire in an adjacent sports. Military personnel were deployed to help with the rescue operation, the spokesperson added.

US-Bangla Airlines has been operating since 2014 out of its home airport in Bangladesh. The airline is owned by US-Bangla Group, a joint venture company with offices in Dhaka, New York, India and other Asian hubs.