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7 Brits among 19 plane crash dead.

Byline: DOMINIC HARRIS

SEVEN Britons died yesterday after a plane burst into flames and crashed in Nepal, killing all 19 on board.

The twin-engine propeller Dornier plane crashed shortly after take-off at about 6.15am local time, landing in a field near the capital, Kathmandu.

Five Chinese people, three Nepalese passengers and four crew members were also killed, with reports suggesting the accident was caused by a bird strike.

The British group, who arrived in Nepal onWednesday and were due to begin trekking in the Himalayas today, were travelling with Hampshire-based travel company Explore Worldwide.

They were named as Raymond Eagle, 58, from Warrington, Cheshire, Timothy Oakes, 57, from Winwick, near Warrington, Vincent Kelly, 50, from Lostock, Bolton, and his brother Darren Kelly, 45, who moved from Bolton to the village of Isle of Whithorn in southern Galloway a few years ago.

Christopher Davey, 51, Stephen Holding, 60, and lawyer Benjamin Ogden, 27, from London also perished.

The plane, belonging to Nepal's domestic airline Sita Air, was heading east towards Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest and a popular destination for trekkers.

The pilot reported trouble two minutes after take-off, and Tribhuvan International Airport official Ratish Chandra Suman said the plane appeared to have been trying to turn back to the airport.

Witnesses said they heard screaming coming from inside the plane before it crashed into a field and said it was already on fire before it hit the ground.

Harimaya Tamang, who lives near the crash site, said: "We thought the pilot was trying to force land because it was on fire and the river area had open space to land."

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A large crowd gather around as wreckage of the plane burns after crashing, killing 19 people. Inset: victim Vincent Kelly
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Sep 29, 2012
Words:294
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