28 Sep 2012

19 die in Nepal plane crash

9:02 pm on 28 September 2012

A small plane flying 19 people towards Mount Everest has crashed on the outskirts of the Nepalese capital, killing everyone on board including seven Britons and five Chinese.

The Sita Air Dornier aircraft had just taken off from Kathmandu airport and was headed to the small town of Lukla, a gateway to the world's highest mountain, when it plunged into the banks of a river near the city.

A national police spokesperson says the remaining seven on board, including three crew members, were Nepalese.

He says the plane crashed less than 1km from the airport.

Airport authorities say the pilot told them seconds before the crash it had hit a bird, AFP reports.

It was the sixth fatal air crash in Nepal in the past two years, with 76 lives lost in that period before the latest crash, raising fresh questions about the safety record of Nepal's numerous small airlines.