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19 die in Mount Everest plane crash

A plane carrying tourists to view Mount Everest has crashed while attempting to land in Nepal, killing all 19 people on board.

The turboprop plane belonging to Buddha Air was carrying 13 foreign tourists, three Nepalese passengers and three crew members when it crashed in Bisankunarayan village, just a few miles south of the capital, Katmandu.

Rewant Kuwar, an official at Katmandu's international airport rescue office, said that 18 bodies were pulled out of the plane's wreckage, and that another victim died later in hospital.

Among the foreigners who died in the crash, 10 were Indian nationals, two were US citizens and the other was Japanese, Tourism Secretary Ganeshraj Joshi said.

An eyewitness, Haribol Poudel, told Avenues Television that the plane had hit the roof of a house in the village and disintegrated into several pieces. No casualties were reported on the ground.

Poudel said it was foggy, and that visibility was very low in the mountainous area.

The plane had taken passengers on a one-hour "mountain flight" over the Everest region was returning to the capital when it crashed.

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