KATHMANDU – A small plane crashed near a treacherous high-altitude airport in northern Nepal on Monday, killing 15 people while six others miraculously survived, police said. The aircraft belonging to local carrier Agni Air ploughed into the ground just outside Jomsom airport, a gateway to the Annapurna mountain range, shortly after the pilot reported a fault. “Fifteen people have been killed. Thirteen of them were Indian tourists and the other two were Nepali pilots,” police spokesman Binod Singh told AFP. He said there were six survivors, among them a Nepali air hostess and an Indian man who is being treated for head injuries.
The Danish foreign ministry in Copenhagen said two Danes had also been rescued and were being treated in the city of Pokhara, 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Jomsom.
Basanta Dawadi, of the Pokhara tourism council, said he had spoken to the pair, a man and woman in their early 30s who were both trekkers.
“They told me the plane was about to land and suddenly it ascended and its left wing hit something. The plane rolled and then plunged into the ground. The emergency door opened and they crawled out of the aircraft.
“They told me they lost consciousness and then they were rescued.”
The man had foot injuries while the woman had a cut on her throat, Dawadi said.
The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu said two Indian children aged nine and six had been pulled out alive from the wreckage. It released no details about their injuries but said they had been taken to hospital.
This is terrible. Fortunately there are survivors. Flights into Jomsom are quite popular, especially now when parts of the Annapurna Circuit are motorable. With Nepal’s infrastructure being so badly strained and the smaller airlines so poorly regulated, more accidents like this are bound to happen. Having said that, air travel in Nepal is still relatively safe. Full article can be read here.