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Video: Nepal plane crash leaves 15 dead

Last updated on: May 14, 2012 16:26 IST

Video: Nepal plane crash leaves 15 dead

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Thirteen Indian pilgrims were among 15 people killed when a small private plane crashed in northern Nepal on Monday after hitting a hilltop while attempting to land at the high-altitude Jomsom airport.

The Dornier aircraft belonging to Agni Air that flew from the resort town of Pokhara on its way to Jomsom crashed while landing at the mountain airstrip, said an official at the rescue coordination committee of Tribhuvan International Airport.

He said that there were possibilities of a technical fault.




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"Thirteen Indian nationals and two Nepalese crewmember were killed in the crash," the official said, adding rescuers have so far recovered nine bodies from the wreckage.

Six people on board, including three Indians, an airhostess and two Danish nationals have been rescued alive from the crash site, he said.

The injured people were taken to a hospital in Pokhara and the three Indians who survived the crash were out of danger, said Rescue Coordination Committee of the Tribhuvan International Airport.



Image: Wreckage of the Dornier aircraft is pictured at the crash site at Jomsom
Photographs: Reuters

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Nepal plane crash leaves 15 dead

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There were altogether 21 people in the aircraft with 16 Indians, two Danish nationals and three Nepali crewmembers.

The passengers had chartered the flight to take them from the central tourist hub of Pokhara to Muktinath, a famous Hindu pilgrimage in Jomsom near Tibetan border at the foot of the Thorong La Himalayan mountain pass, the official said.

The high-altitude Jomsom airport, about 200 km northwest of the capital, is a gateway to a popular tourism and trekking destination situated more than 2,600 m above sea level.



Image: Anoreas Rasch from Denmark, one of the foreign passengers who survived a plane crash, is brought to treatment after being rescued from the crash site, at Pokhara airport
Photographs: Reuters

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When contacted, Indian embassy officials said they were trying to collect the details as there was some confusion over the nationalities of the passengers on board the ill-fated plane.

Agni Air marketing manager Pramod Pandey said two Danish nationals were also among the passengers. "It's not that much difficulty to land at the Jomsom airport. We are using experienced pilots over there. So, thispilot who flying this aircraft has a lot of flying hours," he added.

The plane turned into pieces but did not catch fire. The bodies of Pilot Prabhu Sharan Pathak and Co-pilot JD Maharjan have been recovered.


Image: Airhostess Roshni Saiju is brought to the hospital for treatment after being rescued from a plane crash site, at Pokhara airport
Photographs: Reuters

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Meanwhile, India has set up round-the-clock helplines in its embassy in Kathmandu to provide information on the air crash. According to official sources, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna was "directly" in touch with country's ambassador to Nepal.

"I am deeply saddened to hear about the tragic air crash that occurred earlier this morning near Jomsong airport in Nepal. I would like to convey my deep condolences to the families of all those who have lost their lives in this accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who have lost their near and dear ones," the minister said in a message.

In September last year, 19 people returning after viewing Mount Everest were killed when their plane crashed in bad weather near Kathmandu.


Image: An Indian girl who survived the plane crash receives treatment at a hospital in Pokhara
Photographs: Reuters

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