19 dead after plane crashes near Kathmandu, Nepal

Friday 28 September 2012 22.42
Firemen battle flames from the wreckage of the Sita Air Dornier plane crash in Manohara, near Kathmandu
Firemen battle flames from the wreckage of the Sita Air Dornier plane crash in Manohara, near Kathmandu

A small plane crashed after it struck a bird shortly after take-off from the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, killing 19 people, including seven British passengers.

The twin-engine propeller-driven Dornier aircraft, owned by private firm Sita Air, had taken-off from Kathmandu for Lukla in the Mount Everest region when it crashed in a field near Kathmandu airport, police said.

Five Chinese, four Nepali passengers and three Nepali crew were among the dead.

Rescuers pulled charred bodies from the smouldering wreckage in a field on a riverbank near the airport.

Ratish Chandra Lal, general manager of Kathmandu airport, said the pilot had informed air traffic controllers that the plane had hit a bird.

Autumn is the peak tourism season in Nepal which has eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest.

At least 11 people were killed in an avalanche in northwest Nepal on Sunday.

In May, 15 people were killed when their plane crashed into a hill in northwest Nepal.

Keywords: nepal

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