The tragic US-Bangla plane crash at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Monday has left us shocked, saddened and at a loss for words. This is the deadliest civil aviation disaster in Bangladesh's history. The 76-seater Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400 crash landed on an empty field near the runway and caught fire leaving behind a trail of wreckage and destruction. The death toll as of Tuesday was reported to be at least 49 of whom 26 were Bangladeshis, 21 Nepalese, one Chinese and another Maldivian.
In this moment of sorrow and grief, as bereaved families try to come to terms with the loss of lives of their loved ones, it is imperative that the authorities and the media of both Nepal and Bangladesh exercise caution and steer clear of speculation of any kind. This is not the time for anyone to lay blame on any single reason or party. Probe bodies have been formed by civil aviation authorities of the two countries and the US-Bangla Airlines. And we should wait until the official findings of the investigation are revealed—instead of speculating on unofficial sources' news—so that we can form an informed opinion.
What must be prioritised above all is conducting independent investigations into this tragic incident. Whatever comes of the findings should be internalised as lessons learnt in both countries' aviation industry. We express our sincere gratitude to everyone—rescue workers, firefighters, doctors—who has come forward to help save lives.
Bangladesh and Nepal must stand united in this difficult time as the people of both countries still reel from the shock and family members and friends of the deceased try to cope with the aftermath of this devastating incident.