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BD mourns plane crash victims

WT24 Desk

The national flag flies at half-mast at government and nongovernmental organisations and at the Bangladesh embassies abroad. Special prayers will be offered at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas across the country on Friday.

An aircraft operated by the US-Bangla Airlines crashed with 71 people on board in Kathmandu on Monday killing 49, including 26 Bangladeshis.

There were four crew members among the Bangladeshi victims. The incident prompted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cut short her Singapore visit and return to Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Hasina convened an emergency meeting on Wednesday and decided to observe the mourning day.

A seven-member team led by Dr Lutfur Quadir Lelin, associate professor at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, was due to fly to Nepal on Thursday morning to treat the burn victims in particular, said Samanta Lal Sen, coordinator at the DMCH burn unit.

US-Bangla Airlines spokesman Kamrul Islam told the media in Dhaka earlier on Tuesday that eight of the Bangladeshi survivors were being treated at the Kathmandu Medical College Hospital.

They are Emrana Kabir Hashi, Shahreen Ahmed, Sheikh Rashed Rubayat, Almun Nahar Annie, Mehedi Hasan, Saiyada Kamrunnahar Swarna, Md Kabir Hossain and Md Shahin Bepari.

The two others, Eakub Ali and Md Rezwanul Haque are under treatment at the NORVIC Hospital and OM Hospital respectively, he added.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal was in Nepal to monitor the latest situation of the deadly crash. One Bangladeshi may get released from the hospital, Kamal told reporters on Wednesday, without mentioning any name.

Nepal authorities need four more days to finish autopsies and confirm the identities of the dead, Bangladesh Ambassador to Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams told reporters at a Nepal hospital on Wednesday.

The bodies will be sent back to Bangladesh after a day or two once the procedure is done, she said. DNA tests will be conducted to identify those who succumbed to burns and the process may take as long as three weeks, Shams said.

Bangladesh has offered help to Nepal to speed up the DNA tests in order to identify the bodies.

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