Smoke was seen by many witnesses at the crash site. Live footage posted on Facebook and photographs shared on social media showed tall columns of smoke from the crash site. Firefighters rushed in and managed to put out the flames of the burning wreckage, according to photographers. Army personnel and rescue workers were also seen at the crash site.
"We have recovered 50 dead bodies so far," Nepal army spokesperson Gokul Bhandari told Reuters. Charred bodies recovered from the wreckage of the aircraft were covered with cloth on the airport's tarmac, according to witnesses. Nine passengers have yet to be accounted for. US-Bangla Airlines spokesman Kamrul Islam told news agency AFP that 33 of the passengers were Nepali, 32 were Bangladeshi, one was Chinese and one from the Maldives.
Mountainous Nepal has a poor air safety record. A Thai airways flight from Bangkok had earlier crashed while trying to land in Kathmandu in 1992, killing everyone on board.
US-Bangla Airlines is a unit of the US-Bangla Group, a US-Bangladeshi joint venture company. The airlines started operating in July 2014, with its first international flight taking off in May 2016 to Kathmandu. It operates with routes across South Asia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In 2015, one of its planes had overshot the runway on landing at Saidpur in northwest Bangladesh, with no reports of injuries.
According to its website, the airlines launched with the motto of "Flay Fast Fly Safe."
(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)