Nepal plane crashes, two pilots killed

Kathmandu, Feb 26 (IANS) Two pilots were killed when an aircraft belonging to the private sector Kasthamandap Air crashed in far western Nepal’s Kalikot district on Friday, an official said.

Tje two pilots — Captain Dinesh Neupane and co-pilot Santosh Ranaa — of the plane were killed when the 9N-AJB chartered flight that took off from Nepalgunj city at 12.16 p.m. (local time) crashed while landing in a farmer’s field near the top of a mountain, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Ananda Pokhrel said.

The Jumla-bound flight from Nepalgunj Airport carried in all 11 people, including two crew members, on board.

The incident came two days after a Tara Air plane — that took off from Pokhara — crashed on a forested mountainside on Wednesday, killing all 23 people on board.

The second crash within the week has created fears about security of domestic flights in the Himalayan nation where the country needs measure to make its aviation sector safe.

Nepal Army spokesperson Brigadier General Tara Bahadur Karki said a joint team of Nepal Police and Army had been despatched for the accident site.

The aircraft appeared to have some technical problem and attempted to land on a farmer’s field near the top of a mountain. It went into a steep descent and crashed nose down, an eyewitness said.

The front part of the plane caught fire and efforts were on to douse the blaze, the eyewitness told media persons over phone.

Three helicopters, including two from the Nepal Army, were sent for the rescue operation, said Minister Pokhrel.

More passengers could have been injured, and a team of medical professionals had reached the accident site from the district headquarter, he added.

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