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Plane crashes after takeoff in Nepal, killing 19 people

From Manesh Shrestha, for CNN
updated 11:37 PM EDT, Thu September 27, 2012
  • The crash kills 16 passengers and three crew members
  • The plane was flying to a village popular with people traveling to Everest
  • The cause of the crash was not immediately clear

Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN) -- A plane caught fire and crashed soon after taking off from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, killing all 19 people on board, the Himalayan country's Civil Aviation Authority said Friday.

There were 16 passengers and three crew members on the plane when it crashed near the Manohara River in Bhaktapur District, the Civil Aviation Authority said. The river is in the same valley as Kathmandu,

The plane was scheduled to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, a village in northeastern Nepal that is a popular staging post for people on their way to Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak. This time of year is the peak season for visitors to the Everest region.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. The plane was a Dornier aircraft operated by Sita Air.