An aircraft carrying 19 people, mostly foreigners, crashed on the outskirts of Nepal’s capital Friday, killing everyone on board, Nepalese authorities said.
The Dornier aircraft belonging to a private airline was flying 16 passengers – including seven Britons and five Chinese - and three crew members from the Tribhuvan International Airport near Kathmandu to the town of Lukla, a gateway to Mount Everest. The plane caught fire and crashed near the airport at around 6.30 am, minutes after the takeoff, the AFP reported.
“The pilots seem to have tried to land it safely on the banks of the river but unfortunately the plane caught fire,” national police spokesman Binod Singh told the AFP.
Local television channels aired footages of the charred wreckage of the plane and burned bodies of the passengers at the crash site.
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Friday’s accident was the sixth fatal air accident in Nepal -- which attracts a large number of tourists, pilgrims and trekkers -- in less than two years.
In May, an Agni aircraft carrying Indian and Danish nationals crashed into a hill near a mountain airport in Nepal killing 15 people including the two pilots.
In September last year, a plane flying the tourists crashed into a hillside near Kathmandu, killing all 19 people on board.
In August 2010, 14 people, including four Americans, were killed when an Agni plane crashed in the Everest region.