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Nepal:18 killed in plane crash

BHAIRAHWA:All 18 persons on board a Nepal Airlines plane are believed to have been killed when a small twin otter aircraft reportedly crashed during a routine flight in Nepal’s Arghakhanchi district on Sunday.
The twin otter, belonging to the state-owned Nepal Airlines and carrying 15 passengers, including a foreigner, besides three crew members, crashed in Arghakhanchi district in western Nepal, said an official at the Tribhuvan International Airport here.
Airport official Bimalesh Karna told IANS that due to thick fog and torrential rain, rescuers were facing difficulty in reaching the crash site. Nepal is witnessing torrential rain since Saturday which in turn has rendered visibility poor.
The ill-fated plane was heading from Pokhara, a popular tourist destination, to the mid-western Nepali town of Jumla, said Nepal Airlines .The plane went missing shortly after take-off from Pokhara and its last contact was with Bhairahwa airport from where it had originally begun its flight.
Initial reports suggested that flames were seen at the crash site, enabling officials to locate the wreckage.
The crash site is located in the jungle, making a rescue bid difficult in inclement weather.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said in a statement that the aircraft lost contact at 1.13 p.m. while flying from Pokhara to Jumla.
Nepal Army spokesperson confirmed that the plane had crashed and added that one army helicopter was also involved in the search operation.
A politician of Jumla district belonging to the ruling Nepali Congress party, a female journalist, a bank manager, a Nepal Army major based in Jumla district and a doctor besides a Danish national were listed among the passengers.
The plane made a stopover at the popular tourist destination of Pokhara—the kickoff point for climbing expeditions to the 8,091-metre Mt Annapurna—and was reported missing shortly after taking off from there.
In 2012, there were two plane crashes in Nepal. In September 2012, 19 people were killed. In another crash in May that year, a plane crashed, killing 15 people.

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