Passenger plane crashes in Nepal killing 18

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

a DHC-6 Twin Otter, similar to the one that crashed.
Image: Leonard G..

A passenger plane carrying tourists, has crash-landed at an airport near Mount Everest killing 18 of the 19 people on board. Of those killed were 12 German, two Australian and two Nepalese tourists. The remaining three were the plane's crew who were of Nepalese decent. The only survivor was the pilot-in-command.

The twin engine DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter plane, operated by Yeti Airlines, was flying in Nepal from the nation's capital of Kathmandu to Lukla. It was landing at the Lukla Airport when its wheels got caught on a fence at the end of the runway, causing it to hit the runway and burst into flames. Firefighters fought for nearly two hours before bringing the fire under control.

Officials blame the crash on heavy fog and bad weather. Reports state that visibility was only 1,310 feet (400 meters), which was considered to be just enough for the plane to land.

"According to initial reports we have it crashed before it was to land and caught fire. The accident was probably caused by a last minute change in the weather," said Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal chief, Yagya Prasad Gautam.

There was at least one accident at the airport in 2005 when nine people survived a crash, only suffering minor injures. That plane was operated by Gorkha Airlines.


Sources

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