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A Buddha Air Plane, Returning to Kathmandu from a Everest Flight, Crashes on a Hill. All 19 on Board Killed

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At the Buddha Air plane crash site. Pics by Prakash Mathema/AFP

By Deepak Adhikari/AFP

A small aircraft taking tourists on a sightseeing trip around Mount Everest crashed in Nepal on Sunday, killing all 19 people on board, officials said.
The Buddha Air Beechcraft plane carrying 10 Indian passengers, three other foreign tourists, three locals and three Nepali crew crashed into a hillside in heavy rain and fog at Godavari, around 10 kilometres (six miles) from Kathmandu.

“All 19 people have died. The Buddha Air-103 was returning from a mountain flight when it crashed into Kotdada Hill,” said Bimlesh Lal Karna, head of the rescue department at Tribhuwan International Airport.

Police spokesman Binod Singh told AFP one person had initially survived the crash but had died in hospital.

“The rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rain,” he added.

Airport authorities on the ground lost contact with the plane at 7:30am and it crashed four minutes later.

Local television stations reported that witnesses saw flames coming from the aircraft just before it crashed.

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buddha airplane crash site

Buddha Air was not immediately available for comment.

update:

Buddha Air Press Release

On September 25, 2011, Beech 1900D Aircraft (UE-295) belonging to this Buddha Air Pvt. Ltd. met with an unfortunate incident at Kot Danda, Lalitpur, Nepal. The Aircraft was returning to Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, after being diverted from its scheduled mountain flight due to adverse weather conditions over the Himalayan Peaks.

We are deeply distressed to confirm that all 19 passengers and crew onboard lost their lives in the incident. The crew onboard included Capt. Jan Buddha Tamrakar, Capt. Padma Adhikari and Air Hostess Miss Asmita Shrestha. The passengers included 10 Indian, 3 Nepali, 2 American and 1 Japanese nationals. Buddha Air has always given priority to its continual commitment and investment in modern safety technology and competent professionals for last 14 years towards adherence to the highest safety standards for our valued passengers. We are deeply grieved by this unimaginable and unfortunate incident and pray for eternal peace of the departed souls.

Buddha Air has initiated its internal investigation in this regard. An Investigation Team has also been formed by the Government of Nepal to identify the cause of incident and to report accordingly. We will fully cooperate with the said Team formed by the Government of Nepal. The CVR/FDR (Cockpit Voice Recorder/Flight Data Recorder) has also been recovered from the site, which is expected to help in identifying the cause of incidence. The findings of the investigating teams will be made public upon completion of its task and submission of the report.

In order to pay our respect to the departed souls, Buddha Air will suspend all its domestic flights on September 26, 2011. The regular flights will resume from September 27, 2011.

At this difficult juncture, Buddha Air offers its heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased and pray for eternal peace of the departed souls.

Buddha Air Pvt Ltd.

Jawalakhel, Lalitpur

The company offers an “Everest Experience” package, taking tourists from Kathmandu and flying them around the world’s tallest mountain.

The Buddha Air website describes the Beechcraft as the “safest plane operating in the domestic sector”.

Air travel is popular in Nepal, which has only a very limited road network. Many communities, particularly in the mountains and hills, are accessible only on foot or by air.

Aviation accidents are relatively common, particularly during the summer monsoon, when visibility is usually at its worst.

A Twin Otter plane carrying three crew and 19 passengers, including one American, smashed into a mountainside shortly after taking off from a small airstrip 140 kilometres east of Kathmandu in December last year.

The passengers were mostly Bhutanese citizens on a religious tour of Nepal and had chartered the Tara Air plane to take them to a Buddhist holy site in the area.

The plane’s black box data recorder was recovered and the government set up two separate inquiries, one into the cause of the accident and one into how the Bhutanese chartered a flight using false names.

In November last year a helicopter crashed near Mount Everest during a mission to rescue two stranded climbers, killing the pilot and an engineer.
Three months earlier, a plane headed for the Everest region crashed in bad weather killing all 14 people on board, including four Americans, a Japanese and a British national.

An investigation blamed that crash on a power failure. It said the plane’s generator failed and the pilot did not follow the proper procedures to conserve the remaining battery power.

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At the crash site. Pic by Reuters

More pics here. From Ekantipur:

Bad weather could have caused crash: Experts

Meteorological Forecasting Division on Sunday said that bad weather could have been a major cause of the Buddha Air plane crash. Also Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that they had not registered the weather forecast for today.

“We always notify about the weather forecast, but today the forecast was not recorded at all,” said senior official of CAA, Rajendra Shrestha.

According to Shrestha the visibility at the crash site was minimum because of heavy fog and rain. He said that the crash could have been averted if a proper reading was taken on time.

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

This report in Nepali from eKantipur on Buddha air plane crash

बुद्ध एयरको विमान दुर्घट्ना, चालक दलका सदस्यसहित सबै यात्रुको मृत्यु

  • शवहरु नेपाली सेनाको हेलिकप्टरले त्रिभूवन विमानस्थल ल्यायो

काठमाडौ, आश्विन ८ – माउण्टेन फ्लाइटका लागि उडेको बुद्ध एयरको एउटा विमान आइतवार बिहान ललितपुरको पहाडी क्षेत्रमा दुर्घटनामा परेको छ । उक्त १९०० डी बीचक्राफ्ट विमानमा सवार चालक दलका तीन सहित १९ जनाको मृत्यु भएको छ ।

१८ जनाको शव घट्नास्थलमा भेटिएको उद्दारमा खटिएकाले जनाकएको छ भने घाइते अवस्थामा उद्दार गरी उपचारको लागि पठाएका एक जनाको समेत बाटोमै मृत्यु भएपछि विमानमा रहेका सबैको मृत्यु भएको हो । घाइते अवस्थामा भेटिएका निराजन कर्मचार्यलई जीवितै उद्दार गरी अस्पताल पठाएक थियो ।

बिहान बाक्लो हुस्सु लागेको बेला उक्त विमान ललितपुरको बिशंखुनारायण र लामाटार गाविसको सीमानामा पर्ने कोटडाँडा भन्ने स्थानमा दुर्घटनामा परेको हो ।

‘बिहान बाक्लो हुस्सु परेको थियो, सुरुमा जहाजको आवाज सुन्यौं, त्यसपछि ठूलो आवाज आयो’ उद्दारमा खटिएका स्थानीय केशव थापाले ईकान्तिपुरसंग भने, ‘गनाउन थालेपछि जहाज दुर्घट्ना भएको अनुमान लगाएर हामीले खोजविन गर्ने र प्रहरीलाई खवर गर्ने काम गरेका हौं ।’ थापाले विहान सवा सात बजेतिर उक्त आवाज सुनिएको पनि उल्लेख गरे ।

घट्नास्थल कोटगाउँमा रहेका हाम्रा संवाददाता कृष्ण ज्ञवालीका अनुसनर बिहान बाक्लो हुस्सु लागेको बेला कम उचाई उडेका कारण दुर्घट्ना भएको हुन सक्ने स्थानीयले अनुमान गरेपछि दुर्घट्नाको प्राविधिक जानकारी प्राप्त भएको छैन । कोटडाँडास्थित स्थानीय हरि थापाका अनुसार सुरुमा विमानको पखेटाले उनको घरको भित्तामा छोयो, अनि बिमानको अगाडीको भाग घर पछाडीको भीत्तामा जोतिएको देखिन्छ ।

विमानले लागेर एउटा लप्सीको रुख पनि ढलेको छ । कम उचाइबाट खसेकाले मारिएकाहरुको शव सग्लै रहेको छ । विमान भने टुक्राटुक्रा भएको छ । उद्दारको लागि नेपाली सेनाको हेलिकप्टर आएपनि अवतरण हुन नसकेपछि फर्केको छ । स्थानीयबासी र प्रहरी उद्दारमा खटिएका छन् ।

विमानमा चालकदलका सदस्यहरुमा क्याप्टेन जीवी तम्राकार, सहचालक पद्मा अधिकारी र विमान परिचारिका अस्मिता श्रेष्ठ थिए । विमानका यात्रु मध्ये १० जना भारतीय नागरिक, दुईजना अमेरिकन, एकजना जापनीज ३ जना तेस्रो मुलुको र ३ जना नेपाली रहेका छन् ।

मृत्युहुनेहरुको नामावली:

चालक दलका सदस्यहरु:

जीवी तम्राकार– क्याप्टेन

पी अधिकारी– सहचालक

अस्मिता श्रेष्ठ– बिमान परिचारिका

यात्रुहरु:

निरन्जन कर्मचार्य– नेपाल (उपचारका लागि ल्याउँदै गर्दा मृत्यु)

शारदा कर्मचार्य– नेपाल

जगजन कर्माचार्य– नेपाल

पंकज मेहता– भारत

छाया मेहता– भारत

एच डी नागराज– भारत

एल नागराज– भारत

आई नागराज– भारत

एस नागराज– भारत

डी. तालोसुब्रियम– भारत

डीपी तालोसुब्रियम– भारत

नागराजा तालोसुब्रियम– भारत

पी तालो सुब्रियम– भारत

तेस्रो मुलुकका नागरिकहरु: (राष्ट्रियता नखुलेको)

एन्ड्रे वेइड

मिस नाताली नेइलन

तोशिनोरी क्वेज्म

AS IF THE CRASH WAS NOT ENOUGH (SOURCE):

Bomb scare at TIA (TURNED OUT TO BE A HOAX)

Passengers of Spice Air jet (Kathmandu-New Delhi) on Sunday were evacuated as officials suspect that a bomb had been planted in the aircraft. Bomb disposal unit has started their inspection at the Tribhuvan International Airport.

The aircraft has been taken to the hanger for further investigation while the runway has been temporarily stopped. Likewise, the airplanes that were supposed to land at TIA have been diverted to various destinations for the time being.

The airplane was taken to the hangar as an American monk claimed that she had a bomb with her.

According to a passenger, the monk has been taken into custody for further interrogation. However, the monk has claimed that she has not said anything of the sort to anyone.

The off-loaded plane is currently surrounded by half a dozen fire-brigades and hundreds of police as the bomb disposal team is searching for the alleged bomb. The luggage are also being checked by the bomb disposal team and trained dogs.

स्पाइस जेटको विमानमा बम भेटिएन

केदार ओझा

काठमाडौ, आश्विन ८ – काठमाडौंबाट दिल्ली उडन लागेको स्पाइस जेटको विमानमा बम फेला नपरेको बताइएको छ । उक्त विमानमा बम रहेको आशंकाम सबै यात्रु ओरालेर बम डिस्पोजल टोलीले बम खनतलासी गर्दा फेला नपारेको हो ।

काठमाडौबाट दिल्लीका लागि आइतवार १० ः ५५ बजे उडन लागेका स्पाइस जेटको जहाजमा शंकास्पद बम रहेको आंशकामा खानतलासी शुरु गरेको थियो । त्रिभुवन अन्तर्राष्ट्रि विमानस्थलमा आधा घण्टाका लागि स्थगित सम्पूर्ण उडान सुचारु भएको छ भने स्पाइस् जेटले पनि उडानका लागि तयारी गरिरहेको छ ।

बुद्ध एयरको जहाज दुर्घटनामा परी शवहरु त्रिभुवन बिमानस्थलमा ल्याउने क्रममा पुन विमानस्थलका सुरक्षाकर्मीलाई यो आपत आईलागेको हो ।

जहाजलाई पार्किङ्गमा राखेर खानतलासी शुरु गरिए लगत्तै विमानस्थलको रनवे समेत बन्द गरिएको थियो । नेपाल आउने लागेको अधिकांश जाहाजहरुलाई केही समयका लागी डाइभर्ट गरिएको थियो ।

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