19 die as plane heading for Everest region crashes in Nepal
A plane flying 19 people towards Mount Everest came down in flames on the outskirts of the Nepalese capital Friday, killing everyone on board including seven Britons and five Chinese, police said.
The twin-engine Sita Air craft had just taken off from Kathmandu and was headed to the town of Lukla, gateway to the world’s highest mountain, when it plunged into the banks of a river near the city’s airport around daybreak.
Witnesses described hearing the screams of passengers and seeing flames coming from one of the plane’s wings moments before it hit the ground. Airport authorities said that the pilot told them seconds before the crash how it had hit a bird.
It was the sixth fatal air crash in Nepal in the last two years, with 76 lives lost in that period before Friday, raising fresh questions about the safety record of the country’s numerous small airlines.