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Plane with 21 crashes in Nepal; 8 survive
Plane carrying 21 crashes in Nepal's northern mountains; at least 9 killed; 8 critically hurt
By The Associated Press

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) ' A plane carrying 21 people crashed Monday while trying to land at a mountain airstrip in Nepal's northern Himalayas, killing at least nine, authorities said. Eight survivors in critical condition were flown by helicopter to a hospital.

The plane hit a mountain while it was turning around to land at Jomsom Airport, said Laxmi Raj Sharma, chief government administrator in the area. The wrecked aircraft was in pieces but did not catch fire.

Sharma said initial investigations show that the plane might have suffered technical problems.

Rescuers recovered at least nine bodies from the wreckage site, Sharma said. He said survivors were flown to the nearby city of Pokhara for treatment.

Police official Nareswor Aryal the plane carried two pilots and a flight attendant ' all Nepalese ' along with 16 Indians and two Westerners. Aryal couldn't immediately say where the Westerners are from.

The airport is a gateway to a popular destination for trekkers and for Hindu pilgrims on their way to the revered Muktinath temple. It is about 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of the capital, Katmandu.

The Dornier aircraft belonged to the local Agri Air company.

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