Buddha Air passengers describe of panic and fear

27 September 2021, Kathmandu

Panicked passengers on 9N ANI ATR aircraft of Buddha Air that flew to Biratnagar from Kathmandu Monday morning, and could not land at Biratnagar Airport due to technical glitches knew that the situation was out of the ordinary.

“We were panicked. We had lost hopes that we would survive,” a lady passenger, carrying a baby in her lap, said after the plane landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

None of the passengers onboard the aircraft were confident that they would see their family and friends again.

“We were simply panicking,” Pratap Limbu said, adding, “Passengers were screaming. We all were very much afraid. Some (passengers) even asked the crew to open the doors so that they would jump out of the aircraft.”

Another elderly passenger said people were visibly trembling when the pilot of the aircraft announced that the plane had to be diverted to Kathmandu after notching some problems in its landing gear.

“Until then, I was okay, but when I looked down at the TIA, my heart started bumping with fear to see Nepal Army personnel, police, ambulances and fire-engines being stationed at the airport,” Limbu said.

“The fear then crept into my mind….I could understand that the situation was beyond control,” he narrated the story adding, “I even texted a message to my family saying that this could be my last message.”

The TIA had been kept on a high alert with ambulances and fire engines prior to the force-landing of the aircraft.

A woman passenger said she felt that death was awaiting them because she thought they were going to crash anytime.

“The situation was extremely violent. Everybody was in a shock,” another passenger said.

An aircraft of Buddha Air which was diverted to Kathmandu after it could not land at Biratnagar Airport made a safe landing at TIA.

The aircraft was held for around two hours in the sky of Kathmandu to “finish the fuel”.

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