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15 killed in Nepal plane crash

A plane has crashed into a mountain in the Himalayas while trying to land at an airport in northern Nepal, killing 15 people and critically injuring six.

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

The wrecked aircraft was in pieces but did not catch fire. Mr Sharma said the initial investigation indicated it might have had technical problems.

Survivors were flown to the nearby city of Pokhara for treatment, Mr Sharma said.

Police official Nareswor Aryal said the plane carried two pilots and a flight attendant - all Nepalese - along with 16 Indians and two Westerners. He could not immediately say where the Westerners were from.

The airport is a gateway to a popular destination for trekkers and for Hindu pilgrims on their way to the revered Muktinath temple. It is about 125 miles north-west of the capital, Katmandu.

Prime minister Baburam Bhattarai issued a statement expressing condolences over the deaths of the 15 people.

The Dornier aircraft belonged to the local Agni Air company.

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From Belfast Telegraph