KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) Ã¢â‚¬â€ A plane carrying tourists to view Mount Everest crashed while attempting to land in Nepal on Sunday, killing all 19 people on board, officials said.
Thirteen foreigners were among the victims, including 10 Indian nationals, two U.S. citizens and one Japanese, Tourism Secretary Ganeshraj Joshi said.
In addition to the foreign tourists, the turboprop plane belonging to Buddha Air was also carrying three Nepalese passengers and three crew members when it crashed in Bisankunarayan village, just a few miles (kilometers) south of the capital, Katmandu.
Rewant Kuwar, an official at Katmandu’s international airport rescue office, said that 18 bodies were pulled out of the plane’s wreckage, and that another victim died later after being rushed to a hospital.
The two Americans who died were identified as Andrew Wade and Natalie Neilan, while the Japanese citizen was Toshinori Uejima. Their hometowns and other details were not immediately released.
An eyewitness, Haribol Poudel, told Avenues Television that the plane had hit the roof of a house in the village and disintegrated into several pieces. No casualties were reported on the ground.
Poudel said it was foggy, and that visibility was very low in the mountainous area.
The Beechcraft 1900D plane Ã¢â‚¬â€ manufactured by Raytheon Aircraft, now known as Hawker Beechcraft Ã¢â‚¬â€ had taken the passengers to view Mount Everest and other high peaks and was returning to Katmandu. The one-hour “mountain flight” takes tourists over the Everest region, and passengers can view some of the world’s highest peaks from the airplane windows.