Survivor recounts how he got new life

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

SurvivorA survivor of Bangladeshi airline US Bangla plane crash said that he has got a new life. 

Neapli national Keshav Pandey, said that he thinks he is fortunate to be alive.

Keshav, who is travel agency operator, spoke to local newspaper Kathmandu Post from a hospital in Nepal.

At least 51 people were killed when a Kathmandu US Bangla airliner crashed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu on Monday. Some of the survivors are still in critical condition.

The aircraft was carrying 67 passengers - 32 from Bangladesh, 33 from Nepal and one each from China and the Maldives.

Keshav is receiving treatment at the Medicity Hospital Nakhu, Lalitpur. He told the local newspaper that he came to Bangladesh along with 11 travel agency operators and two representatives of US-Bangla aircraft to participate in the Customer Success Summit on 9 March.

He told the newspaper that they were supposed to return to home after the programme at Cox's Bazar but they decided to stay one more day

He told the newspaper that the flight took off on time on Monday. He said that they sat on the front seats.  

He said that when the plane entered Kathmandu Valley the aircraft was supposed to take the route of Koteshwor while landing but it took another route and missed the airport.

“We thought the pilot was following the instruction from air-traffic control tower,” Keshav said.

He said that the pilot was flying the plane above the hills of Budhanilkantha and Bouddha areas while making the turn to the airport. The plane was flying close to houses and trees.

“That left all the passengers panic-stricken,” he said.

Keshav said that this is the time they felt that their lives were at risk.

“When the pilot turned the plane and approached the airport out of nowhere we thought we will survive,” he said.

He said that the passengers became hopeful two minutes before the landing.

“Shortly after, the plane touched down violently with a bang sound. That’s what I remember. Then after all I can recollect is how I was struggling to save myself. A stream of petrol was oozing out and the plane was emitting smoke. I was trying to come out of the crashed aircraft but couldn’t due to my leg injuries. In the meantime, Nepal Army personnel saw me crawling out of the plane”, Keshav recalled.

He said that he was rescued and taken to the Sinamangal-based Kathmandu Medical College.

“My family members later took me to the Medicity Hospital for treatment,” he added.

He said that he is sad that he lost many friends.

“I have got a new life by losing many friends,” he said.

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