The AN 26 aircraft which crashed into the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday morning failed to take off that was attempted reportedly before gaining adequate speed because the 6,800 feet runway was not sufficient for it to attain the required speed with the amount of cargo that it was laden with at the time, sources told the daily Observer.
The aircraft fell under its weight. At least three people including the pilot were killed and one other crew member has been rescued in critical condition, the sources added.
The ill-fated cargo aircraft belonged to private airlines True Airways, according to reports reaching the capital.
The aircraft was bound for Jessore Airport. All the crew members were Russians. A senior Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) official confirmed the crash but said they had appointed an inquiry committee to determine its cause.
Before inquiry it will not be proper to speculate on the cause of the accident, he said adding that the inquiry committee was on its way to the spot of the accident.
Asked about an allegation that the private airlines flying on the route bothered little about observing civil aviation law and rules, the CAA official said, "If the airlines do not observe CAA rules they cannot fly in Bangladesh's air."
On a question about lack of checking and scanning of cargo that are directly loaded or unloaded at the Cox's Bazar and Jessore airports by driving trucks straight into the tarmac, the CAA official said they had received no such complaint so far. If such a complaint was lodged they will definitely look into the matter and take action.
Sources say the Cox's Bazar-Jessore route has developed as a profitable cargo route mainly for export-oriented frozen fish. The four private airlines on the route-Bismillah Airlines, Easy Fly, True Airways and Sky Capital Airlines-are operated by and large free of control.
More such incidents of aircraft failing to take-off for over-loading, or flying with faulty navigational equipment putting the life of crew members and the safety of the aircraft in danger have taken place in the recent past, but not all those have been reported to the CAA head office in Dhaka.
Most of the time the tendency has been to somehow manage the fights caring little about the safety of the cargo the aircraft and their crew members. The crew members most often have little choice but to take flights risking life just to remain in job as CAA eyes do not see the flagrant violations of flight safety norms and rules. It has been alleged that the regulator does not routinely subject the aircraft in service to fitness or flight-worthiness tests.
The Dhaka-based CAA high official told this correspondent that after the inquiry that has been instituted following Wednesday's accident they would be in a better position to deal with such violations if found.