All 22 killed in small plane crash in Nepal
Kathmandu, December 16, 2010
A small plane crashed in the Himalayan foothills of remote east Nepal, killing all 22 people onboard, an official said on Thursday.
The Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Tara Air between Lamidanda and capital Kathmandu, had lost contact shortly after takeoff on Wednesday from the mountainous airstrip and probably ploughed into the 9,000-feet-high hill, officials said.
"The plane hit the hill by nose. It has broken into pieces. There are no survivors," Bimlesh Lal Karna, an airport official in Kathmandu said.
The passengers were pilgrims returning from a shrine in Lamidanda in Khotang district, 162 kilometres (101 miles) east of Kathmandu, and likely included one foreigner and several Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal, district administrator Keshav Acharya said.
The nationality of the foreign passenger was unknown.
Small aircraft flying to remote and dusty airstrips in Nepal are common modes of transport in the country's mountainous regions that lack proper roads and can be reached only on foot.
Fourteen people including six foreigners were killed in an aircrash in August in rainy weather near Kathmandu. – Reuters