Nineteen people died when a Dornier Aircraft 9N AHA of Sita Air crashed at the banks of Manohara River in Thimi-16 of Bhaktapur district in the Capital on Friday.
19 people, including 16 passengers and three crew members died in the crash. Five Japanese, two Italian, eight British, one Nepali passenger and three Nepal crew members were on board. It has been said that the aircraft crashed within two minutes after the Aircraft Controller’s Office gave its clearance for takeoff at around 6:10 am today. The reason of the crash has not been ascertained. However, experts claim that it could either be a case of ‘on air fire’ or it could have struck a bird on air.
It has been said that the pilots could have tried to crash the aircraft in the river to minimise casualties. However, the aircraft could only reach the banks of Manohara River.
According to airport sources, most of the deceased are tourists. The deceased crew members have been identified as pilot Captain Bijaya Tandukar, co-Pilot Takeshi Thapa and airhostess Ruja Shakya. The aircraft was on its way to Lukla from the Capital.
Three foreign nationals were reported to have died in the Mustang region on Thursday. While an Israeli national drowned in the Kali Gandaki and a German national died due to altitude sickness, a stroke claimed an Austrian. The Israeli national Kossen (25) drowned in the river after falling off a wooden bridge, officials said. The German national Eleck Heining (53) died due to altitude sickness in Surkhang, upper Mustang. The 62-year-old Austrian Joseph John suffered a stroke and died while receiving treatment at a local hospital, local police said.
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