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Plane crash kills 19 in Nepal

A small plane has crashed shortly after takeoff near Katmandu, killing 19 people. The victims included seven British and five Chinese passengers.

The Dornier aircraft from Sita Air was heading from Katmandu, Nepal, to Lukla in the Mount Everest region when it went down near the Katmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport on Friday, officials said.

Sixteen passengers and three crew members were killed in the crash. There were four Nepalese passengers and three Nepalese crew members.

The weather was clear at the time of the crash, and the cause of the accident remains unknown at this time.

It is currently the peak tourism season in Nepal, which boasts eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest.

tm/av (AFP, dpa, Reuters)