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18 die in Nepali plane crash
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Nepali aviation authority confirmed 18 died in an air crash in Lukla airport on Wednesday morning.

A Nepal Yeti Airlines domestic plane on Wednesday morning caught fire while landing at Lukla airport, east of Nepali capital Kathmandu.

Mohan Adhikari, general manager of Nepali Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport on behalf of the related Nepali aviation authority, said at a press conference that 18 people died in the accident.

Mohan Adhikari further told Xinhua reporter the 18 dead including two crew members, 14 German passengers, two Australian passengers and two Nepali passengers, while the only one still alive is a Nepali passenger. The injured is treated in Kathmandu hospital, Mohan Adhikari said.

Former local report said there were two Swiss nationals on board, which was wrong, Mohan Adhikari confirmed the two are Australian instead.

"Altogether there were 19 people on board and most of them were foreign tourists," an official in the Lukla airport once told Xinhua reporter on Wednesday morning.

Lukla airport is gateway to mount Mt. Qomolangma (Mt. Everest), some 130 km east of Nepali capital Kathmandu. International tourists are coming to Nepal at the beginning of October, the end of Nepali monsoon season.

(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2008)

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