KATHMANDU: An aircraft owned by the Buddha Air crashed at Kotdanda near Godavari on the north-eastern outskirts of Kathmandu Valley while returning from a mountain flight to Tribhuvan International Airport on Sunday morning, killing all 19 people on board.
The 9NAE K1900 aircraft lost its communication with the airport from 7:31 am this morning while preparing to land.
There were 10 Indian nationals—at least eight of them the state of Tamilnadu, six Nepalis including three crew members, two Americans and apparently one Japanese on board the small aircraft.
Earlier it was reported that there were 16 foreigners including six Europeans.
Captain JB Tamrakar, who is said to be the son of Nepali Congress leader and former minister Ram Krishna Tamrakar, was the pilot and Padma Adhikari his assistant, while Asmita Shrestha was the air hostess.
Names of Buddha Air plane crash victims
According to police deployed in rescue operation, 18 bodies were found scattered in and around the incident site, while person was found alive. Nirajan Karmacharya, the lone survivor, however, succumbed to his injuries at the nearest B&B Hospital, where he was rushed to for treatment.
Earlier, Superintendent of Police Bhog Bahadur Thapa had told a local television channel that weather condition affected rescue operation.
Chiranjeevi Acharya, a local, told another television station that locals and police personnel were involved in the rescue, before a Nepal Army team reached the crash site.
All the bodies were collected and airlifted to the Tribhuvan International Airport in the afternoon. The bodies have been sent to the Maharajgunj-based Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) for autopsy.
It has been reported that the investigators have discovered the black box of the ill-fated plane at the crash site later in the afternoon.
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has constituted a three-member probe commission to investigate into the plane crash.
The Buddha Air said it was the first fatal crash of its passenger aircraft.