A Cox’s Bazar-bound flight of US-Bangla Airlines with 164 passengers, including 11 children, and seven crew members made a crash landing at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram Wednesday afternoon as its nose gear was inoperative for normal landing.
No casualties were reported but one of the female passengers was given medication for headache, airport manager Wing Commander Sarwar-e-Jahan told New Age.
New Age staff correspondent in Chattogram added that civil surgeon Azizur Rahman Siddiqui, who rushed to the spot before the crash landing of the plane, said that passengers were panicked and traumatised.
One of the passengers, Aleya begum, 45, was sent to a hospital as she was suffering from high blood pressure.
Airport officials seeking anonymity said that after the landing 10 passengers were given dressing and 40 others took primary treatment at the airport.
Because of the crash landing of flight BS-141, the runway was kept suspended for four hours and twenty minutes from 1:45pm.
Air traffic control officials said that it was indeed a big success of the pilots—Zakaria and Rezwan—to make the crash landing at the airport after their repeated attempts in Cox’s Bazar.
‘All emergency vehicles were kept standby during the landing without nose wheel. It could have been a disaster but the pilots could manage it,’ said one of the officials.
Wing Commander Sarwar-e-Jahan also said that no fire broke out and the passengers were evacuated with the emergency rafts of the Boeing 737 aircraft.
Witnesses said that there were sparks which were doused immediately.
Former Awami League lawmaker from Savar-Ashulia constituency Towhid Jung Murad narrated his experience and appreciated the pilots for ‘life-saving’ landing.
He, however, demanded that the government should revoke the license of the airlines as it failed to learn lesson from crash in Nepal.
He said that the flight was about to touch the ground at Cox’s Bazar airport but suddenly it was going up, and pilots took second attempts but failed.
He said that after the second attempts, the passengers started crying and pilots then disclosed that the landing gear was not working.
Amid the hue and cry, the pilots then flew for another hour, requested all to pray and stay calm, and made three more attempts to land at Chattogram airport.
The Civil Aviation Authorities, Bangladesh formed a four-member team led by Aircraft Accident Investigation Group chief Captain Salahuddin Md Rahmatullah to probe the incident.
Salahuddin Md Rahmatullah could not be reached for comment immediately.
BAF Base Zahurul Haque commanding officer Air-Vice-Marshal Muhammad Mafidul Rahman, among others, rushed to the scene and supervised the rescue operation.
The airlines later on the day in a statement said that the Cox’s Bazar-bound flight took off at about 11:30am but the pilots felt the necessity of an emergency landing for technical reason minutes before the scheduled landing in Cox’s Bazar.
It stated that the pilots moved the flight to Shah Amanat International Airport due to shortage of resource at Cox’s Bazar domestic airport.
‘Later, the US-Bangla flight landed in Chattogram,’ said the statement, adding that later all the passengers, cabin crew and pilots came out of the aircraft safely.
It also said that no damage of the passengers and crew took place.
A witness said that he saw the plane lying on the runway and emergency unit carried out the evacuation with the help of different agencies concerned.
The correspondent in Chattogram added that airlines management sent 26 passengers to Cox’s Bazar on a bus from the port city’s Dampara area at about 4:30pm.
On March 12, at least 51 people, including 26 Bangladeshi nationals, were killed as a US-Bangla Airlines plane crashed and burst into flames at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu in Nepal.
Barely two weeks in the tragic plane crash in Nepal, another Malaysia-bound flight of US-Bangla Airlines made an emergency landing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Besides, a Jessore-bound US-Bangla Airlines flight made a safe emergency landing in Dhaka because of signal imbalance after take-off on March 4, 2018.