Nepali plane crash claims 15 dead and six injured

The plane carries the injured to a Pokhara hospital.

KATHMANDU, Nepal–Thirteen passengers and two crew members died Monday morning when a Dornier 9N AIG-D228 plane of Agni Air crashed in Jomsom Airport in western mountains of Nepal.

The ill-fated plane was flying to Jomsom from tourist city Pokhara taking 16 Indian pilgrims, two Danish tourists and three crew members.

Of them, five passengers and an airhostess were rescued from the crash site.

The airplane took off from Pokhara at 9:30 am and crashed 20 minutes after in course of landing at the Jomsom airport at an altitude of 2,707 metres. 

Pilot Prabhu Sharan Pathak and co-pilot Suman Dongol Maharjan died on the spot while air hostess Roshani Hainju was safely rescued from the crash site.

The Indian pilgrims were on way to Muktinath, one of the holy sites of the Hindus in the high mountain of western Nepal. 

The plane crashed on a hill some one nautical mile (1.8 Kms) west of the Jomsom airport while it was preparing to land.

Among the killed Indian nationals were identified as K. Chaitanya,  S.K Arora, M Honda, MK Honda, K.O. Arora, T. Sachdev, G. Sachdev, Sanaim Sudhar, G Raman, Ms. Kumar, Kumar, Latha Echambadi and M. K. Arora.
                                                           
The bodies of the deceased were airlifted by the Nepal Army chopper RAN 53 –MI8 to the Kathmandu-based TU Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, for autopsies this afternoon.
 
The plane had left Pokhara airport at 9:30 am, said Yogendra Kunwar, assistant manager at the air traffic control in the Pokhara airport.

Six injured passengers who were safely rescued from the crash site were admitted at the Manipal Teaching Hospital in Pokhara.

The injured Danish nationals were identified as R. Andreas and T. Emilie.

Similarly, air hostess Hainju, two Indian minors Tirumala Kidambi Sreevardhini, 9, Tirumala Kidambi Sreepada, 6, and an Indian man Tirumala Kidambi Sreekanth were safely rescued.   

According to a press statement of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), five of the injured passengers were to be discharged from the Manipal Hospital soon
 
Sreekanth was admitted at Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital, according to the doctors, his condition was out of danger.  

The victims were airlifted by the Nepal Army helicopter, Simrik Air helicopter and Tara Air plane to the Pokhara based hospital. 

The airport officials suspected that the plane met the accident while going around the airport before landing.

The plane hit a mountain near the Jomsom airport, the officials said.

According to Devendra Khatri, an eye witness of the crash, the plane slipped 200 metres down the hill after its nose hit the hill.
 
Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and other leaders expressed their deep sorrow over the death of 15 passengers in the crash.

The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu also issued a press statement confirming the killing of 13 Indian nationals in the crash.

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