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Friday, September 28, 2012







Nepal plane fireball horror as witnesses claim they could hear victims 'wailing and screaming' in wreckage




Two brothers and a 27-year-old Londoner are among the seven British trekkers who have been killed in a plane crash in Nepal as witnesses have described how they heard the 'wailing and screaming' of terrified passengers in the burning wreckage. 

The victims were named today by local travel company Sherpa Adventures as Raymond Eagle, 58, Christopher Davey, 51, brothers Vincent Kelly, 50, and Darren Kelly, 45, Timothy Oakes, 57, Stephen Holding, 60, and Benjamin Ogden, 27, according to the Press Association. 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the families of the victims had all been informed.

The twin-engine aircraft, operated by domestic carrier Sita Air, was carrying trekkers to the Everest region and came down two or three minutes after take-off near the Manohara River on the southwest edge of the capital Kathmandu, killing 19 people in total. 

The Britons had been due to begin a 16 day trek in the Himalayas, starting at Everest Base Camp, with Hampshire travel firm Explore Worldwide today.

As a number of badly burned bodies lay just metres from the aircraft's shattered fuselage, bystanders described hearing desperate screams and flames coming from one of the plane's wings moments before it hit the ground at around 6.30am (00.45 GMT)
No survivors: Onlookers watch on helplessly around the blazing plane which crashed on the edge of the Nepalese capital, killing 19 people including seven Britons
 Desperate fight for life: The pilot reported trouble shortly after leaving Kathmandu airport and appeared to have been trying to turn back when it came down Fireball: Firefighters battle to douse the burning wreckage of a plane after it came down in a field just minutes after takning off from Kathmandu Airport
 Fireball: Firefighters battle to douse the burning wreckage of a plane after it came down in a field just minutes after takning off from Kathmandu AirportDestroyed: The fire quickly spread to the rear, but the tail was still in one piece at the scene near the Manohara River on the south-west edge of Kathmandu
 Destroyed: The fire quickly spread to the rear, but the tail was still in one piece at the scene near the Manohara River on the south-west edge of Kathmandu


Harimaya Tamang, who lives near the crash site, said: 'The plane appeared to be on fire already before it landed. We thought the pilot was trying to force land because it was on fire and the river area had open space to land.
'The plane hit the ground, bounced once but it did not break. The plane was already on fire, the local people rushed with buckets and tried to put out the flames but it was too hot and people could not get close enough.'
The Dornier Aircraft 9N-AHA was just a kilometre away from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu when it crashed. It was bound for Lukla, the main airport in the Everest region 35 minutes away. Airport authorities said that the pilot told them seconds before the crash how it had hit a bird - possibly an eagle.
The crew had apparently became aware of intense heat in the cabin shortly after take-off.
A spokesman for Sita Airways told the Daily Telegraph: 'There was very much heat and then the fire began. They were very close to the airport. After two or three minutes it crashed.'
Wreckage of the Sita Air Dornier aircraft Nepalese fireman and volunteers help extinguish flames from the wreckage

 Decimated: Rescuers inspect the wreckage of a plane which crashed on the edge of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu minutes after take-off, killing seven British trekkers
 Picking through the pieces: A recovery team clears away one of the propellers as investigators try to establish what caused the crash which killed all 19 people on board
 Nepalese rescue team members move bodies
 The black box of the crashed Sita Air plane

 Major operation: Hundreds of rescuers and members of the public swarm around the site as investigators begin to piece together the events that led up to the tragedy

 Major operation: Hundreds of rescuers and members of the public swarm around the site as investigators begin to piece together the events that led up to the tragedy
Trekking tragedy: The aircraft, operated by domestic carrier Sita Air, came down minutes after take-off near the Manohara River on the southwest edge of Katmandu
Disaster: The plane, operated by domestic carrier Sita Air, came down just 500 yards from where it took off and appeared to be trying to return there when it came down
 The wreckage of a Dornier aircraft
 Nepalese fireman and rescue workers show a passport and money
 Belongings: A forensic officer with a blood stained guide book and right, a Nepalese fireman and rescue workers find a British passport and money
Evidence: A rescue team member holds up bundles of money recovered from the plane. Soldiers and police also sifted through the wreckage to try to identify the victims
Evidence: A rescue team member holds up bundles of money recovered from the plane. Soldiers and police also sifted through the wreckage to try to identify the victims
A rescue team clears debris
Crowds gather a the site of a Sita Air plane crash near the banks of the Manohara River in Bhaktapur, which is just two kilometers away from Kathmandu airport
 Graphic

 A fault with the plane? The passengers were on board a Sita Air-operated twin-engine Dornier aircraft like this one when it crashed
 A fault with the plane? The passengers were on board a Sita Air-operated twin-engine Dornier aircraft like this one when it crashed

On vacation: The 15 trekkers and four crew members took off from Kathmandu International Airport (above), a popular start point for journeys into the Everest region On vacation: The 15 trekkers and four crew members took off from Kathmandu International Airport (above), a popular start point for journeys into the Everest region
 The airport at Lukla, Nepal - the start of the Everest trekking trail
 Remote: The plane was bound for this airport at Lukla, Nepal which is the start of the Everest trekking trail
Remote: The plane was bound for this airport at Lukla, Nepal which is the start of the Everest trekking trail

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