One Chinese onboard crashed plane in Nepal

Nepalese rescuers stand near a passenger plane from Bangladesh that crashed at the airport in Kathmandu Nepal

Rajkumar Chhetri, general manager at Tribhuvan International Airport, said there may have been more deaths had a fire in the wreckage not been extinguished in a timely manner.

An airport official confirmed that among the 67 flyers, 32 were Bangladeshis, 33 were Nepalese, one each from China and Maldives, apart from four crew members.

Survivor Basalt Bohora said: "All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang". Small aircraft ply an extensive domestic network and often run into trouble at remote airstrips.

A government spokesman was not able to give numbers but said both dead and injured had been pulled from the aircraft.

An airport source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there may have been confusion between air traffic control and the pilot over which end of Kathmandu s sole runway - referred to as Runway 02 and Runway 20 - the plane was meant to land on.

The US-Bangla pilot is then asked if he has the runway in sight, to which he replies, "Negative".

Moments later, the controller comes back on, using a panicked tone rarely heard in such conversations, and tells the pilot, "I say again, turn!"

Eyewitnesses said the plane crashed as it made a second approach towards the airport, bursting into flames after coming to a halt in a football pitch next to the runway.

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A cockpit of a crashed US-Bangla airplane lies on the crash site at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal March 12, 2018.

It was not immediately clear if the pilot had issued a "Mayday" call, or distress signal.

However, US-Bangla Airlines chief executive Imran Asif blamed Kathmandu air traffic control.

Numerous bodies that lay on the tarmac, covered with cloth, were charred, witnesses said.

The officials, however, have said a technical glitch could be the cause of the accident. The reason behind the crash of the 17-year old aircraft is yet to be established, but the rescuers and other aviation staffs have recovered the black box of the aircraft. Then it lost more altitude and finally crashed.

Following the crash, the airport has closed arrivals and departures as dozens of firefighters, rescue workers and army personnel were at the scene.

"Our thoughts are with those injured, and their families", it said.

Kathmandu airport lies in a bowl-shaped valley with the Himalayas to the north, making it a notoriously challenging place to land. Till previous year, the airline operated 20 Q400 airplanes.

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