Police: 19 killed as small plane crashes in Nepal

Onlookers and rescuers are seen near the wreckage of the aircraft in Lalitpur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, on September 25.

Story highlights

  • Among the victims are two Americans and a Japanese national
  • The plane was returning from a sightseeing tour, police say
  • It hit a mountain and broke into pieces, a police spokesman says

Nineteen people aboard a small plane were killed Sunday when it crashed while trying to land at the airport in Kathmandu, police in Nepal said.

Among the occupants onboard were two Americans, officials said.

The Beechcraft plane was returning from a sightseeing tour when it hit a mountain and broke into pieces about 12 kilometers (7 miles) from the airport, said police spokesman Binod Singh. It was carrying 16 passengers and three crew members.

The crew members were Nepalese, as were three passengers. Ten other passengers were Indian nationals; two were Americans and one was a Japanese national, officials said.

"We had already seen the plane approaching the airport when the accident happened," said Purusottam Shakya, the chief of operations at Tribhuvan International Airport.

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In August, a plane headed to Mt. Everest on a sightseeing tour crashed, killing 14 people onboard. Among the victims were four Americans and a British national, officials said at the time.