25 Sep 2011

Nepal plane crash kills all 19 on board

9:26 pm on 25 September 2011

A small aircraft taking tourists on a sightseeing trip around Mount Everest has crashed in Nepal, killing all 19 people on board.

The Buddha Air Beechcraft plane carrying 10 Indian passengers, three other foreign tourists, three locals and three Nepali crew crashed into a hillside in heavy rain and fog at Godavari, about 10km from the capital Kathmandu.

A police spokesman said one person had initially survived the crash but died in hospital and rescue efforts were being hampered by heavy rain.

Airport authorities on the ground lost contact with the plane at 7.30am and it crashed four minutes later.

Air travel is popular in Nepal, which has only a very limited road network. Many communities, particularly in the mountains and hills, are accessible only on foot or by air.

Aviation accidents are relatively common, particularly during the summer monsoon, when visibility is usually at its worst.

A Twin Otter plane carrying three crew and 19 passengers, including one American, smashed into a mountainside shortly after taking off from a small airstrip 140km east of Kathmandu in December last year.