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Tourist flight crashes in Nepal, killing 19 aboard

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KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A plane that was carrying tourists to view Mount Everest crashed while attempting to land in Nepal on Sunday, killing all 19 people on board, including 13 foreigners, officials said.

Ten Indians, two Americans and one Japanese were among the victims, Tourism Secretary Ganeshraj Joshi said.

The turboprop plane belonging to Buddha Air was also carrying three Nepalese passengers and three crew members when it crashed in Bisankunarayan village, just a few miles (kilometers) south of the capital, Katmandu.

A witness, Haribol Poudel, told Avenues Television that the plane hit the roof of a house in the village and broke into several pieces. No casualties were reported on the ground.

Poudel said it was foggy and visibility was very low in the mountainous area.

Rewant Kuwar, an official at Katmandu’s international airport rescue office, said 18 bodies were pulled out of the plane’s wreckage, and another victim died after being rushed to a hospital.

The two Americans were identified as Andrew Wade and Natalie Neilan, while the Japanese citizen was Toshinori Uejima. Their hometowns and other details were not immediately released.

The Beechcraft 1900D plane — manufactured by Raytheon Aircraft, now known as Hawker Beechcraft — had taken the passengers to view Mount Everest and other peaks on a one-hour "mountain flight" and was returning to Katmandu.

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