Budhha Air crashes at Kotdanda, Lalitpur

A small plane carrying foreign tourists crashed in a hill south of Kathmandu airport early on Sunday, killing all 19 people aboard including the crew members.

The accident site, Kotdanda, lies between Lamatar and Bisankhunarayan VDCs in Lalitpur, around 15 kilometers south of the Tribhuvan International Airport.

Eighteen dead bodies were recovered from the site and one died in the hospital while undergoing treatment, according to SP Bhog Bahadur Thapa, who is overseeing rescue operations.

In all, there were 19 people, ten Indian, two American, a Japanese, three Nepalese and three have not been identified yet onboard the Buddha Air beechcraft. The ill-fated aircraft was approaching Kathmandu airport in cloudy weather after completing its mountain flight.

Some locals said the plane caught fire shortly before the crash. While others said it flew lower than its usual course before it crashed.

Buddha Air has suspended all its scheduled flights for Sunday following the accident. It is the first crash involving a Buddha Air plane. Police moved rescue team to the site after they got a call from the locals near the crash site around 8 a.m.

According to the Buddha Air, Pilot JB Tamrakar, Co-pilot Padma Adhikari, Air Hostess Asmita Shrestha and Nepali passengers on board Sharada Karmacharya, Jagan Karmacharya and Nirajan Karmacharya were killed in the accident occurred this morning.

The Indian nationals killed in the aircraft crash are Pankaj Mehta, Chhaya Mehata, S Nagaraja, T Nagaraja, L Nagaraja, HD Nagaraja, D Jalosubrisum, DP Jalosubrisum, P Jalosubrisum, and Nagraja Talosubrisum, said the company.

Similarly, Toshinori Jehma of Japan and US nationals Natali Nailun and Andrew Wade were also killed in the plane crash.