Lifestyle & Belief

Plane crash near Nepal tourist area kills 15 foreigners


Fifteen passengers died May 14, 2012 when a plane carrying Indian pilgrims crashed near a treacherous high-altitude airport in northern Nepal, while six made a miraculous escape, police said.


Menahem Kahana

A charter plane has crashed in Nepal near a treacherous high-altitude airport, killing 15 people.

Six passengers aboard the Agni Air flight, which slammed into a hill close to Jomsom near Mount Annapurna, survived, Xinhua reported. 

Ramindra Chettri, Nepal Army spokesperson, told Xinhua that 18 foreign passengers including 16 Indians were on board, along with three crew members.

The "westerners" were also on the plane, The Associated Press reported.

The survivors, including a flight attendant, were taken to a hospital in Pokhara, a tourist city about 125 miles west of the capital, Kathmandu, for treatment, the New York Times reported.

The airport, 125 miles northwest of Kathmandu is a gateway to a popular destination for trekkers and for Hindu pilgrims on their way to the Muktinath temple.

Laxmi Raj Sharma, chief government administrator in the area,  said the plane was turning around to land at Jomsom airport when it crashed, the AP reported.

Nepal's prime minister, Baburam Bhattarai, issued a statement expressing condolences at the deaths.

Chettri said a Nepal Army helicopter had flown to the crash site to bring the bodies to the capital.

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