Mount Everest, Nepal: 19 Dead In Tourist Plane Crash

25 Sep

Nepalese rescue workers and civilians gather around the wreckage of a Beechcraft 1900D operated by Buddha Air after it crashed in the mountains outside Bisankunarayan village, just south of Katmandu,

A small plane carrying foreign tourists to view Mount Everest crashed in bad weather near Nepal‘s capital Kathmandu, killing all 19 people on board.

 Plane carrying foreign tourists crashes near Kathmandu

Plane carrying foreign tourists crashes near Kathmandu
 
Rescuers and onlookers survey the crash site

Rescuers and onlookers survey the crash site

A small plane carrying foreign tourists to view Mount Everest has crashed in bad weather near Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, killing all 19 people on board.

Kathmandu Airport officials said there were 16 passengers and a crew of three on board the plane.

The cause of the crash was not known.

“We had rushed a survivor to the hospital but he died during the treatment. So we have all 19 people dead,” police spokesman Binod Singh said.

The Beech aircraft owned by Buddha Air, a private airline, was flying to Kathmandu from a mountain flight to Everest.

“The plane was returning to Kathmandu from a mountain flight when it crashed,” an official at the Kathmandu airport a Rescue Coordination Centre said.

The centre is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.

He said the plane had crashed at Kotdanda, about 5kms south of the Nepali capital.
There were 10 Indian and two American, one Japanese , three Nepali passengers and three Nepali crew members, he said.

The last plane crash in Nepal was in December last year, when a Twin Otter aircraft hit the Himalayan foothills of remote east Nepal, killing all 22 people onboard.

Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountain peaks, including Mount Everest.

Tens of thousands of hikers and foreign tourists go to Mount Everest and other trekking routes to see the lofty Himalayan peaks every year.

Those who cannot hike the rugged hilly trails to the mountains use mountain flights operated by different airlines to see the Himalayas.

Tourism, a key source of earning for impoverished Nepal, accounts for nearly 4% of the gross domestic product and employs tens of thousands of people.

NEWS UPDATE:

Nepalese police officers and rescue workers gather around the wreckage of a Beechcraft 1900D operated by Buddha Air after it crashed in the mountains outside Bisankunarayan village, just south of Katmandu, Nepal, early Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. The plane carrying tourists to view Mount Everest crashed while attempting to land in dense fog on Sunday, killing all 19 people on board, officials said. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Nepalese police officers and rescue workers gather around the wreckage of a Beechcraft …

Nepalese rescue workers and civilians gather around the wreckage of a Beechcraft 1900D operated by Buddha Air after it crashed in the mountains outside Bisankunarayan village, just south of Katmandu, Nepal, early Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. The plane carrying tourists to view Mount Everest crashed while attempting to land in dense fog on Sunday, killing all 19 people on board, officials said. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Nepalese rescue workers and civilians gather around the wreckage of a Beechcraft …

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A plane carrying tourists to view Mount Everest crashed while attempting to land in Nepal on Sunday, killing all 19 people on board, officials said.

The turboprop plane belonging to Buddha Air was carrying 13 foreign tourists, three Nepalese passengers and three crew members when it crashed in Bisankunarayan village, just a few miles (kilometers) south of the capital, Katmandu.

Rewant Kuwar, an official at Katmandu’s international airport rescue office, said that 18 bodies were pulled out of the plane’s wreckage, and that another victim died later after being rushed to a hospital.

Among the foreigners who died in the crash, 10 were Indian nationals, two were U.S. citizens and the other was Japanese, Tourism Secretary Ganeshraj Joshi said.

An eyewitness, Haribol Poudel, told Avenues Television that the plane had hit the roof of a house in the village and disintegrated into several pieces. No casualties were reported on the ground.

Poudel said it was foggy, and that visibility was very low in the mountainous area.

The Beechcraft 1900D plane — manufactured by Raytheon Aircraft, now known as Hawker Beechcraft — had taken the passengers to view Mount Everest and other high peaks and was returning to Katmandu. The one-hour “mountain flight” takes tourists over the Everest region, and passengers can view some of the world’s highest peaks from the airplane windows.

Keywords:  nepal, everest, kathmandu

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