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Eight from Tamil Nadu killed in Nepal plane crash

Nineteen people including 10 Indians were killed in an air crash at Kotdanda, approximately 20 kilometres from Kathmandu, today. Utpal Parashar reports.Emergency contact nos (Nepal) - 0097714423702/0097714410900 (4109) | Watch Videovideo

world Updated: Sep 25, 2011 17:00 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times

Nineteen people including 10 Indians were killed in an air crash at Kotdanda, approximately 20 kilometres from Kathmandu, early on Sunday morning.

According to officials at Tribhuwan International Airport, the small Beechcraft 1900D plane belonging to Buddha Air was on an hour-long mountain-view flight and returning to Kathmandu when the accident took place.

"The airport lost contact with the plane at 7:31am and the crash took place soon after. All 19 persons on board including three crew members have died," said an employee of the rescue coordination centre.

Apart from the 10 Indians, the deceased include three foreigners, three Nepalis and two pilots and an air hostess.

Officials say while 18 people died on the spot one injured succumbed on way to hospital.

The Indians on board have been identified as Pankaj Mehta, Chaya Mehta, MV Maruthachalam, M Mani Maran, VM Kanakasabesan, AK Krishnan, RM Meenatchi Sundaram, K Thiyagarajan, T Dhana Shekharan and Kattoor Mahalingam.

Indian Embassy sources informed that Pankaj Mehta and his wife Chaya were employed with Unicef-Nepal and based in Kathmandu.

The eight other deceased were part of a delegation of the Thiruchilapalli centre of Builders Association of India in Tamil Nadu and had reached Kathmandu on Saturday on a Spicejet flight from New Delhi.

"All the eight were booked in our hotel from September 24 to September 27. They had booked the mountain flight on their own," informed Phurba Sherpa, sales manager at Grand Hotel.

Initially there was some confusion about the identities of the eight passengers from Tamil Nadu as the passenger list released by Buddha Air had indicated names different from the ones provided by the hotel.

Others who lost their lives in the accident include foreigners Andrew Wade, U Toshinori, Natalie Neilan, JB Tamrakar (pilot), P Adhikari (co-pilot) and Asmita Shrestha (flight attendant).

Nepali nationals killed in the crash are Sarada Karmacharya, Niranjan Karmacharya and Jagajan Karmacharya.

Officials are yet to ascertain the reason why the aircraft, considered one of the safest, crashed to the hills without any prior warning. The Nepal government has constituted a three-member committee to probe the accident.

Expressing "profound grief" on the deaths, the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu has assured all assistant for prompt evacuation of the bodies of the Indians killed in the accident.

"We are in constant touch with Nepali authorities. The bodies have been brought to Kathmandu and are likely to be flown to India today after completion of formalities," said embassy spokesperson Apoorva Srivastava.

Following are the Emergency phone numbers where details of the accident victims can be obtained:
00-977-1-4423702, 00-977-1-4410900 (extn 4109), 00-977-1-4414990 (extn 4109), 00-977-1-4411699 (extn 4109).

First Published: Sep 25, 2011 08:52 IST