In Nepal, 18 people were killed when a small
passenger plane crashed in the east of the country. Most of the victims were
German tourists. Anjana Pasricha reports for VOA from New Delhi.
Airport officials in Nepal say the small
private Twin Otter airplane was on a short half-hour flight Wednesday morning
from the capital Kathmandu to Lukla town in eastern Nepal when it crashed while
trying to land, and burst into flames.
All the passengers died. They
included a dozen Germans, two Australians, and two Nepalese tourists. Two crew
members were among those killed, but the pilot managed to get out.
is a small mountain town situated in the Himalayas at a height of more than
2,800 meters. It is known as the gateway to the Everest region, which is popular
trekkers heading for mountain expeditions in Nepal.
Manager of Kathmandu airport, Mohan Adhikari, says bad weather probably led to
the plane crash.
"The weather was a bit tricky. In the morning it was all
right, visibility was 5,000 meters, but later on it deteriorated, and perhaps
that weather could be the reason, I mean, the contributing factor for the
accident," he said.
In clear weather, dozens of daily flights ply between
Lukla and Kathmandu. The town's airport is a tiny one, situated on a sloping
airstrip, and there is a steep drop of
a few hundred meters at the end of the
runway. Airport officials say it is among the most difficult ones in the world
from which to take off and land.
Nepal is a popular destination for
mountain trekkers from all over the world. This year around half a million
tourists are expected to come into the country, for which tourism is the main