Experts travel to Nepal crash

Nepalese gather around the burning wreckage at the crash site of a Sita Air airplane near Katmandu, Nepal Credit: AP/Press Association Images

Air accident investigators from the UK are heading to Nepal to investigate the plane crash which killed seven Britons yesterday. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said today it was sending two staff to Kathmandu to assist local authorities probing the disaster, which killed all 19 people on the aircraft shortly after take-off from the capital city's airport.

In a short statement on its website, the organisation said: "The AAIB is sending two investigators to assist the Nepal investigation into the recent accident near Kathmandu airport." The British group, who arrived in Nepal on Wednesday and were due to begin trekking in the Himalayas yesterday, were travelling with Hampshire-based travel company Explore Worldwide.

They were named as Raymond Eagle, 58, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, TimothyOakes, 57, from Winwick, near Warrington, Vincent Kelly, 50, from Lostock, Bolton, and his brother Darren, 45, who moved from Bolton to the village of Isle of Whithorn in southern Galloway a few years ago. Christopher Davey, 51, from Northampton, Stephen Holding, 60, from Stoke-on-Trent, and lawyer Benjamin Ogden, 27, from London also perished.

The twin-engine propeller Dornier plane crashed in a field shortly after taking off from the capital Kathmandu yesterday morning. Five Chinese people, three Nepalese passengers and four crew members were also killed, with reports suggesting the accident was caused by a bird strike.