12:47 29 September 2012
A plane that crashed in Nepal on Friday which killed all 19 passengers was thought to have had seven British people on board according to reports. The Dornier 228 aircraft was heading for the popular Himalayan peak area.
The plane, operated by Sita Air, crashed soon after its take-off from Kathmandu, and officials have explained that it burst into flames. The cause of the crash is unknown at the time of going to press, although there are some claims that a bird was involved.
In a report by the BBC, the general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport, Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, claimed the aircraft had struck a bird.
The destination of the flight was Lukla which allows tourists to begin their trek into the Everest region. The UK Foreign Office had said there were residents from the UK on board the aeroplane but did not initially state how many.
The British Embassy said in a statement: “We can confirm that there were British national fatalities. The Embassy remains in contact with Nepalese authorities.”
According to reports the pilots on board made attempts to land the aircraft, and army and rescue teams attended the scene, including fire services to tackle the blaze. It is understood that there were also five Chinese tourists on board.
This news comes as Nepal's latest plane crash, with many people criticising Nepal for its poor air safety, as a crash in May claimed the lives of 15 passengers. The Agni Air aeroplane was reportedly taking tourists to a religious site, in the Annapurna mountain region, when it crashed at an airport at high altitude.
Another plane crash in September last year killed 19 people, as explained by The Independent, the aircraft was small and was taking tourists sightseeing around Everest.
The operators were Buddha Air Beechcraft, and the crash site is understood to have been Godavari – which is almost six miles away from the capital – with the cause of the crash being due to bad weather conditions.
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