Ten Indians were among 19 people killed when a small plane carrying tourists to view Mount Everest crashed at Kotdanda, some 20 km from here, early Sunday.
The Beechcraft 1900D plane of Buddha Air, a Kathmandu-based private airline, was returning to Kathmandu after an hour-long mountain flight when the accident occurred, officials at the Tribhuvan International Airport said.
Of the 10 Indians killed, eight were part of a builders’ delegation from Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. They had arrived here a day earlier.
A group will leave Tiruchirappali on Monday to bring back the bodies from Nepal.
Pankaj Mehta and his wife Chaya, the other two Indians, were employed with Unicef-Nepal and based in Kathmandu."The airport lost contact with the plane at 7.31am and crashed soon after. All 19 persons on board, including three crew members, have died," said an employee at the rescue coordination centre.
The crew — two pilots and an airhostess — were Nepali. Two Americans and a Japanese were the other foreigners killed in the crash. Eighteen passengers died on the spot. A 36-year-old Nepali man was rescued but died on way to hospital.
A Reuters report said the plane had broken into several pieces and black smoke was rising from the debris.
Officials haven't ascertained the reason for the crash so far. Initial reports though pointed to bad weather. Kathmandu and its surrounding hills were enveloped in late monsoon clouds early on Sunday.
A three-member committee has been constituted to probe the accident.Emergency contact nos (Nepal) - 0097714423702/0097714410900 (4109) | Watch Video