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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Missing Nepal plane found

22 people aboard a small plane were killed near east of Katmandu.

Nepal plane crashAll 22 people aboard a small plane were killed when it crashed in Nepal's rugged east, searchers said Thursday, finding the wreckage on a mountainside a day after the plane went missing.

The wreckage was found about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Katmandu, the Rescue Coordination Committee at Katmandu Airport said.

It was not yet clear what caused the crash. The plane had been chartered to carry pilgrims to a Hindu temple and was on its way back to the capital.

Debris from the plane was scattered over a 1,000-foot (300-meter) radius on the side of a mountain, police official Bhesh Bahadur Thapa said in a telephone interview from a station near the crash site.

Thapa said rescuers were collecting the bodies and preparing to send them to Katmandu.

The Canadian-built Twin Otter aircraft operated by domestic Tara Air took off Wednesday from Lamidanda, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) east of Katmandu, and then disappeared.

Airport official Dinesh Shrestha said three rescue aircraft including an army helicopter scoured the area Wednesday evening and early Thursday and located the crash site.

The three crew members and 18 passengers were Nepali nationals, while another passenger was a Tibetan holding a U.S. passport. Other details were not available.

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