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Published: Monday, 9/26/2011

Tour plane crashes in Nepal, killing 19

2 Americans aboard flight over Everest

ASSOCIATED PRESS
A Nepalese rescue worker inspects the wreckage of the Beechcraft 1900D operated by Buddha Air. The plane hit the roof of a house in a village and broke apart. A Nepalese rescue worker inspects the wreckage of the Beechcraft 1900D operated by Buddha Air. The plane hit the roof of a house in a village and broke apart.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A plane carrying tourists to view Mount Everest crashed while attempting to land in Nepal Sunday, killing all 19 people on board, including 13 foreigners, officials said.

Ten people from India, two from the United States, and one Japanese were among the victims, Tourism Secretary Ganeshraj Joshi said.

The turboprop plane belonging to Buddha Air was also carrying three Nepalese passengers and three crew members when it crashed in Bisankunarayan village, just a few miles south of the capital, Kathmandu.

A witness, Haribol Poudel, told Avenues Television that the plane hit the roof of a house in the village and broke into several pieces.

No casualties were reported on the ground.

Rewant Kuwar, an official at Kathmandu’s international airport rescue office, said 18 bodies were pulled out of the plane’s wreckage and another victim died after being rushed to a hospital.

The two Americans were identified as Andrew Wade and Natalie Neilan, and the Japanese citizen was Toshinori Uejima. Their hometowns and other details were not known.

The Beechcraft 1900D plane — manufactured by Raytheon Aircraft, now known as Hawker Beechcraft — had taken the passengers to view Mount Everest and other peaks on a one-hour “mountain flight” and was returning to Kathmandu.

The government ordered an investigation into the crash.

The weather was foggy and the visibility was poor around Kathmandu, meteorologist Rajendra Shrestha said.

The surrounding mountains were enveloped in fog, and rain was falling at the time of the crash.

The bodies were flown by army helicopter to Kathmandu airport and transported to the Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital for autopsies.

Relatives of the Nepalese victims waited outside the hospital to claim the bodies, but were told by police that they would only be able to do so Monday.

Most Nepalese believe that people must be cremated within a day of their deaths.

Officials from the Indian and U.S. embassies visited the hospital but did not speak to reporters.



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