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Two pilots killed as plane crash lands

26 February 2016, 15:00

Kathmandu - Two pilots were killed when a small passenger plane crash landed in Nepal on Friday but all nine passengers survived, an airport official said.

It is not clear what caused the accident, which came two days after a Twin Otter turboprop plane crashed into a mountainside in Nepal killing all 23 people on board.

"A helicopter has landed at the site for rescue. The two pilots are dead, the nine passengers are injured," said Bhola Prasad Guragain, a spokesman for the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu.

"The helicopter will airlift the injured for treatment."

Guragain said the plane had landed "in a flat area" but appeared to have sustained a major impact at the front, where the pilots were sitting.

"We are trying to get more details," he added.

The Kasthamandap Air plane was carrying nine passengers and two pilots when it took off from an airport in the town of Nepalgunj, 300 kilometres (187 miles) west of Kathmandu.

It was headed for Jumla, a remote area in the mountainous far west of the country where road access is poor.

Air travel is popular in Nepal, which has only a limited road network. Many communities, particularly in the mountains and hills, are accessible only on foot or by air.

The country, which is still reeling from a devastating earthquake last April, has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years, dealing a blow to its tourist industry.

Most have been attributed to inexperienced pilots, poor management and inadequate maintenance.

The European Union blacklisted all Nepal's airlines in 2013.

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