09/28/2012, 00.00
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Kathmandu, plane crashes and burns. English and Chinese among 19 dead

The causes of the disaster are not yet known. The plane caught fire before a crash landing. Reports of Italian tourists on board denied. Air disasters frequent in Nepal.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - A plane headed to Mount Everest crashed this morning at 6:15 in the Nepalese capital, killing 19 people who were on board. Among the dead are British, Chinese and Nepalese.

The plane, owned by Sita Air, crashed minutes after taking off from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. According to initial reports, the pilot tried to land near the river Manahara, but the plane caught fire and crashed.

Local sources said that among the dead are seven Britons, five Chinese and seven Nepalese, including three crew. Previously some Italian tourists were believed to have been on board. But the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied reports: some Italian tourists were to have taken the flight, but were delayed and prevented from boarding.

The aircraft was used to take tourists to the bottom of Lukla, the base camp for climbing Mount Everest. The cause of the accident is not yet clear, and it has been confirmed that weather conditions were good.

In the mountainous region of Nepal plane crashes frequently occur. Last May, 15 people were killed in a crash landing. Last year in September, 19 people died when they plane carrying them on a sightseeing flight to Mount Everest crashed.


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