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"Forty people died at the spot and nine died at two hospitals in Kathmandu", police spokesman Manoj Neupane told news agency AFP.

The Bombardier Q400 had 71 total passengers on board, including 33 from Nepal, 32 from Bangladesh, one from China and one from the Maldives.

A plane has crashed on the runway at Kathmandu airport in Nepal, killing 49 people according to police. "The tower repeatedly asked if the pilot was ok and the reply was "yes", said Raj Kumar Chetri, the airport's general manager.

"The aircraft was permitted to land from the southern side of the runway over Koteshwor but it landed from the northern side", Gautam said.

It is Nepal s only global airport and experts say the mountainous landscape with the towering Himalayas to the north poses difficulties for pilots coming in to land.

Witnesses described a chaotic rescue operation in a football field near the Tribhuvan International Airport, as rescue personnel and soldiers from the Nepal's army pulled survivors from the wreckage and a thick plume of black smoke covered the sky.

An airline worker said he saw two or three people fall or jump from the windows of the burning plane. The aircraft took off from Dhaka and landed at the airport at 2:20 pm (local time). 7.

The authorities recovered 31 charred bodies from the debris of the plane while 18 others were declared dead in medical centers.

The Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry said 25 Bangladeshi nationals were identified among the deceased.

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However, last year, budget carrier SpiceJet signed a purchase order of 50 Bombardier Q400s making it the largest order for this turboprop aircraft. "I was seated near a window and was able to break out of the window".

But the conversations between the pilot and air traffic controllers indicated confusion over which direction the plane should land.

"Our team will fly to Nepal as soon as the airport is open", he added.

Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli tweeted that he was shocked by the incident.

All flights in and out of the TIA were cancelled. There were 74 passengers on board but no casualties were reported.

Nepal has been hit by air crashes in recent years, highlighting poor safety in the Himalayan country.

Dhaka but when the plane approached the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for landing in Kathmandu, the aircraft began to behave strangely.

There has been a series of accidents at Kathmandu's airport in the past. A Thai Airways flight from Bangkok crashed while trying to land in Kathmandu in 1992 killing all on board.