UK & World News
Miracle Escape For Nepal Plane Crash Victims
Six people have made a miraculous escape after a plane crashed into a mountain in the Himalayas, killing 15 people.
The Agni Air plane with 21 people on board came down near Jomsom, a popular area for trekkers near the Annapurna mountain range, police spokesman Binod Singh said.
"Fifteen people have been killed. Thirteen of them were Indian tourists and the other two were Nepali pilots," Mr Singh said.
Two Danes, a man and a woman, were among the six survivors.
TV footage showed them being taken into a hospital in the nearby city of Pokhara, the man being led on foot and the woman crying in pain as she was carried on a stretcher.
The Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet said it had spoken to the pair on the phone in hospital, and named them as Emilie Joergensen and Andreas Rasch."We were thrown around. The seats were unfastened and we were squeezed between seats and bodies," it quoted Ms Joergensen as saying.She said they had to climb over "hands and arms" to get out of the plane. "It was easy for us to get out because we sat in the back and were closest to the exit," she added.
Ms Joergensen said she and Mr Rasch were on their way to Jomsom where they planned to go trekking.
The other survivors were the Nepali air hostess, two Indian children and a man who was being treated for head injuries. All were airlifted to hospitals in Pokhar.
"A Nepal army barracks was near the accident site which made the rescue of survivors easier," said Mr Singh.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.
However, Bimlesh Lal Karna, head of Nepal's national rescue department, said the pilot had reported a warning light flashing in the cockpit as he descended to Jomsom.
The pilot told air traffic control moments before the crash that he was diverting back to Pokhara, said Mr Karna.
The plane was flying from the central tourist hub of Pokhara to Muktinath, a sacred place at the foot of the Thorong La Himalayan mountain pass, said a Nepal police regional spokesman.
Prime minister Baburam Bhattarai issued a statement offering his condolences to the families of the 15 people killed.
Jomsom Airport is a gateway to a popular trekking destination, about 200km (125m) north west of the capital, Kathmandu.
The crash was the second deadly accident for Agni Air in less than two years.
In August 2010, one of its planes crashed in bad weather near Kathmandu, killing all 14 people on board, including a British national, a Japanese and four Americans.