Kathmandu, Sep 29 (): A plane heading towards Everest region crashed near Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu Friday morning the foreign office has said.
All 19 people, who were on board were killed – among 19 killed, 7 were Britons, 5 were Chinese and 7 Nepalis including 3 crew members, who were in the twin-propeller Dornier.
The plane of Sita Air crashed in a river bank after few minutes from its take-off from Kathmandu. There is no confirmation about the cause for the crash. However, Ratish Chandra Suman, GM of Tribhuvan Airport, said that when the plane struck a bird, it crashed in the river bank and caught fire.
The air traffic control office communicated to the pilot when they noticed there is an unusual movement in just few minutes after its take-off. Pilot said the plane had hit a vulture, the statement said.
Suman said that the plane was attempting to return back to airport when it crashed. Initial reports suggest the crash occurred as pilots tried to change the direction and land again as they were suffering “technical problems.”
Binod Singh, police spokesman said that pilots seem to have tried to land it safely on the banks of the river but unfortunately the plane caught fire. Nepalese officials said that the aircraft recorders had been recovered from the wreckage.
Alan Hinkes, a British mountaineer said that he had taken flight from Kathmandu to Lukla several times and those problems usually occur at Lukla end. He added that it was not the safest place to fly, but it is what one has to do to get into the mountains.
Ashley Toft, MD of a travel company said that Sita Air operates scheduled flights and is always approved by authorities of airline. The weather was good. The plane was leaving for Lukla and his passengers were also heading for the Everest Base Camp to start their trekking.
The trekking season has started in Nepal. Thousands of climbers, including many Westerners, move to the famous Himalayan peaks.
Aviation accidents occur often in mountainous Nepal. In May 2012, 15 people were killed and in September 2011, 19 people were killed in plane crashes.