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"Thirty-one people died at the spot and nine died at two hospitals in Kathmandu", police spokesman Manoj Neupane told AFP, adding another 23 were injured.

'Looks like they are really confused, ' one man says in Nepali talking about US-Bangla Flight BS211.

TIA General Manager Raj Kumar Chhetri, too, said that over 50 people might be dead in the crash.

"There is some plain land on the left side of the runway but on the right side there is a deep gorge, so if the plane skids off the runway then it will fall into the gorge. There could be a technical issue but we are yet to ascertain the reason behind the unusual landing", an Indian English language daily quoted Gautam.

Clouds of thick, dark smoke could be seen rising above the hilltop Tribhuvan International Airport, which was immediately shut down.

At least eight people died in the crash, according to The Daily Star in Bangladesh.

"All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang", Basanta Bohora told reporters from his hospital bed.

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

Survivor Sanam Shakya, who climbed out of a window of the smouldering plane, said he didn t realise the aircraft was in trouble until it hit the ground.

The 67 passengers on board included 32 Bangladeshis, 33 Nepalese, a Chinese and a Maldivian.

Recordings of the conversation between the pilot and air traffic controllers, which were posted on the air traffic monitoring website liveatc.net, highlight the confusion as to which direction the plane was to land from. Two days later, two pilots were killed when a small passenger plane crash-landed in the country's hilly midwest.

Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli said the nation is "saddened" by the incident.

Kathmandu's airport has been the site of several deadly crashes.

Nepal s poor air safety record is largely blamed on inadequate maintenance and substandard management.

US-Bangla Airlines is a unit of the US-Bangla Group, a U.S. Bangladeshi joint venture company.

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

Kathmandu airport lies in a bowl-shaped valley with the Himalayas to the north, making it a notoriously challenging place to land.

In 1992, a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok crashed while trying to land, killing all 113 aboard.