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September 26, 2011
A small plane taking tourists to have a look at Mt. Everest crashed in Kotdanda, Nepal, early on Sunday, September 25, killing 19 people—including two Americans, 10 Indians, three Nepalis, and one Japanese.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the crash occurred at 7:35 a.m. as the plane—a Beechcraft 1900D—tried to land in thick fog and rain near Tribhuvan International Airport. The plane went down about 10 miles from Katmandu and killed everyone aboard.
"The plane was flying very low," a witness told the local Avenues Television network. "We were surprised. It crashed into the hill and there was a huge explosion."
The pilots lost contact with air traffic controllers four minutes before it crashed. One witness has reported seeing flames coming from the plane prior to the crash.
Eighteen of the 19 victims died immediately, and one person died on the way to or shortly after arriving at the hospital.
A Buddha Air flight, the sightseeing tour is dubbed as the “Everest Experience” and costs $140 per person. The crash is being investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.
"I'm not sure Nepal has the resources to invest or the technical ability within the government to ensure the system is safe," said Kapil Kaul—an expert with the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation in New Delhi—to The Los Angeles Times. "Those who use mountain flights take for granted that the airline and the system are safe."
Do you think Nepal needs to tighten its aviation safety standards?
If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.
Photo Source: Los Angeles Times
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