A plane crashed in Katmandu, Nepal just after takeoff today, killing 19 people. Reports say the pilot had quickly radioed he was having trouble, and had attempted to return to the airport.
There are several reports the small plane hit a bird as it ascended, as VOA notes. The aircraft crashed and burst into flames near the airport.
Seven Britons on a walking vacation were aboard, along with five Chinese tourists and seven Nepalis, according to the BBC. Three of the Nepalese victims were reportedly crewmembers.
This is the second tragedy to befall climbers in Nepal this week. An avalanche last Sunday killed at least nine people who were trying to climb Mt. Manaslu, the eighth tallest peak in the world, according to the Associated Press. Several more climbers were hurt when the snow roared down the mountain and over tents where people were sleeping. Survivors had to wait for dawn to locate the victims.
There've been at least four fatal plane crashes in Nepal over the past two years; the New York Times sums up Nepal air crashes over the past decade. Most recently, a plane crash in May killed 15 tourists. And almost exactly one year ago, another aircraft crash killed 19 people who'd just finished sightseeing near Mount Everest.