UK team to probe plane crash

Air accident investigators from the UK will today begin a probe to learn the cause of a plane crash in Nepal which cost the lives of 19 passengers, including seven Britons.

Latest ITV News reports

Mountaineer 'died doing something he always wanted to'

Mountaineer Timothy Oakes was on the trip of a lifetime with an old school friend when he died in a plane crash in Nepal, his tearful wife said.

Angie Gaunt, speaking from the family home in the Cheshire village of Winwick, said her husband worked in education and had one daughter.

"Tim was a mountaineer. He lived life to the full and died doing something he always wanted to do," Mrs Gaunt said.

"He was with a very close friend, a friend he went to school with. He was with a tour company he held in very high esteem."

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Lawyer killed in Nepal was on cusp of 'incredibly promising career'

The law firm that employed Ben Ogden, one of the British tourists killed in a plane crash in Nepal, has paid tribute to the 27-year-old in a statement:

"Everyone at Allen & Overy is deeply shocked and saddened by the news that Ben Ogden was one of 19 people who were tragically killed in a plane crash in Nepal this morning. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.

"As well as being an excellent lawyer, Ben was a very popular member of the firm. Ben had recently qualified and it was clear to everyone that he had an incredibly promising career ahead of him. Ben will be deeply missed by all who knew him."

– ALLEN & OVERY STATEMENT

PM: Nepal plane crash 'deeply tragic'

Responding to news of the fatal plane crash in Nepal, which killed seven British people, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "It is an absolutely horrific incident and obviously I feel for the families concerned.

"We are doing everything we can to inform the next of kin. I know our ambassador in Nepal is on the case and on the spot dealing with it. Obviously we will have to find out exactly what happened.

"It is a deeply, deeply tragic case."

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Nepal crash victims clients of British travel company

Explore Worldwide, the Hampshire-based adventure travel company, has confirmed that seven people who were involved in the plane crash in Kathmandu, Nepal, were clients of the company.

Their tour guide, a local Nepalese, was also onboard.

We are devastated by this news. Our thoughts are very much with the families of those affected, both in the UK and in Nepal. We are sending a senior manager out to Nepal today; she will arrive first thing tomorrow morning.

The basic facts are that SITA Air operates scheduled flights and is approved by airline authorities. The weather was good. The plane was departing for Lukla and our passengers were heading for Everest Base Camp at the start of their trek.

We have no more information at present. The next of kin of all involved have been contacted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

– Ashley Toft, Explore Managing Director

For more on the travel company and story visit ITV Meridian.

Nepal-based journalist recounts events of plane crash

Journalist Thomas Bell, who has been in Kathmandu, Nepal today, described to ITV News how the fatal plane crash reportedly occurred, after meeting with several eyewitnesses.

I visited the crash site, it's only about half a mile from the runway at Tribhuvan International Airport. What appears to have happened is that the plane took off shortly after 6am local time and according to the airline (Sita Air) one of the engines may have been taken out by a bird.

Although the people I've spoken to in the aviation industry today say that the Sita Air Dornier light aircraft has two engines, so it should have been able to land on one of them.

The plane was in distress and people on the ground and near the crash site said they saw flames coming from the plane. It was circling round, apparently trying to land again, when it crashed.

People rely on small planes to get around (in this country) and at least to the Everest region, which is where this plane was going. It's a very popular route for tourists who want to trek to Everest and it appears most of those on board were tourists on a trekking holiday in the Everest region.

There were crowds of people looking at the crash site when I was there earlier and it crashed very close to a slum, shanty town, which is very close to the airport here. The people there were rather shocked and it was a narrow miss for them and it landed only about 50 yards from their houses.

People would be right to worry about air safety in Nepal, potential visitors should be concerned, it's not really safe that's clear. There are these regular crashes and yet people keep coming. If you want to visit a place like Mount Everest then I'm afraid local safety standards are quite poor.

– Thomas Bell, journalist in Kathmandu
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