18 Feared Dead in Nepal Plane Crash

Burning wreckage of Nepal Airlines aircraft found in forest

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Niranjan Shrestha / AP

Nepalis waiting for the news of the Nepali Airlines plane outside the Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu on Feb. 16, 2014

A Nepal Airlines plane crashed shortly after taking off for a flight from the Nepali resort town of Pokhara to Jumla, in the country’s far west, on Sunday, “almost certainly” claiming the lives of all 18 people aboard.

An official at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport said that bad weather and the lack of deicing equipment on the Canadian DeHavilland Twin Otter plane caused the tragedy.

The burning wreckage has been found in a forest in the western part of the country, according to Tourism Secretary Sushil Ghimire. A Danish citizen was reportedly among the passengers.

In six air crashes in Nepal since 2010, at least 97 people have died, and the E.U. in December banned all Nepali airlines from flying to member states because of safety reasons.

[Reuters, New York Times]