Kathmandu: It was a Sunday tragedy for many families tonight, as a small plane crashed close to Kathmandu. On board among others, were 10 Indians, most of whom were in Nepal for a break. The plane came down as they were returning after a glimpse of Mount Everest.
Locals say they saw the plane hit the roof of a house in a village, disintegrating into several pieces. They managed to rescue the only passenger who survived the crash but he too died on the way to hospital. Said Ramesh Puri, a local and an eyewitness to the accident: The plane crashed and went up, with all the parts sprinkled everywhere. It was at a burning stage.''
The Indian nationals killed in the crash were identified as Pankaj Mehta and his wife Chhaya, and eight men from Tamil Nadu - M V Marathachalam, M Manimaran, V M Kanakasabesan, A K Krishnan, R M Minaxi Sunsaram, K Thiyagarajan, T Dhanasekaran and Kattoos Mahalingam. (Read: Mountain flight ends in tragedy for eight Tiruchirapalli-based builders)
The 57-year-old Mehta was working as chief of the health section of UNICEF, Kathmandu. According to Mehta's colleagues here, the couple had been residing in Kathmandu for the past three years and had possibly come from Gujarat.
This is not the first time that accidents involving small aircrafts have occurred in Nepal. In December last year, a plane carrying 22 people crashed east of Kathmandu and in August 2010, a plane heading for the Everest region crashed due to bad weather.