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Tue, May 15, 2012

Airplane Down In Nepal, 15 Fatally Injured

Charter Flight Carried 21 People, Many Indian Tourists

A Dornier 228 (similar aircraft pictured in file photo) went down in Nepal about 125 miles north of Katmandu Monday morning, resulting in the fatal injury of 15 of the 21 people on board. The charter flight was en route from Pokhara to Jonsom when the accident occurred.

The Agri Air plane went down near the Jonsom airport, which is considered to be among the most challenging airfields in the world, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Multiple media sources including the Voice of America and the Los Angeles Times report that the survivors were airlifted by helicopter to the Manipal College of Medical Sciences, according to an official with the Indian Embassy. A police official said that the aircraft was reported to be in good condition prior to the flight, and the winds were a bit stronger than usual at the time of the accident.

The aircraft reportedly broke into pieces after impacting the ground. It did not catch fire. The police official speaking to the media said that the pilot "made a left turn and crashed into the mountain."

The high-altitude airport is a gateway for climbers and religious pilgrims visiting the area, according to reports.

Baburam Bhattarai, the Prime Minister of Nepal, offered condolences to the families of those fatally injured in a statement.

FMI: www.caanepal.org.np

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