18 dead in Nepal plane crash

Photo: Arghakhanchi.Com
Rescuers on Monday found the wreckage of a plane that slammed into a snow-covered mountain in Nepal and burst into flames, killing 18 people, including a child, authorities said.
The bodies have been taken to the capital, Kathmandu.
Bimlesh Lal Karna, from Nepal\’s civil aviation authority, said the crash site was on a hill called Khanchikot – Masinalekh in Arghakhanchi, where it was difficult for emergency services to land because of the difficult terrain.
Nepal airlines blames the crash on bad weather.
Contact with the Canadian-made Twin Otter plane was lost a few minutes after it took off at 12:40 local time (06:55 GMT) from Pokhara, bound for Jumla, around 360km (220 miles) west of Kathmandu.
In Nepal, 13 private airlines fly to nearly 50 airports, many of them in difficult locations, surrounded by mountains, cloudy weather and with no road access.
In September 2012, a plane operated by Nepal\’s Sita Air crashed near Kathmandu airport, killing 19 people.
In May of that year, 15 people died when an Agni Air plane carrying Indian pilgrims to a Hindu religious site in northern Nepal crashed at a high-altitude airport.
Since 1949 – the year the first aircraft landed in Nepal – there have been more than 70 different crashes involving planes and helicopters, in which more than 700 people have been killed.
The Himalayan nation\’s aviation sector has a poor safety record and has suffered a series of fatal accidents. In December, the European Union banned all of Nepal\’s airlines from flying to the EU.
Source: TOE and agencies
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