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Plane crash in Nepal kills 19 tourists; pilot error now focus of investigation.
Investigators are now including pilot error and mechanical breakdown as possible causes of a plane crash that killed 19 people Friday in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Local officials told The Telegraph that a “panic-stricken” pilot crashed trying to return his aircraft to Tribhuvan international airport; he reported trouble two minutes after takeoff.
A local official said plane wasn’t high enough and turned too sharply.
“The pilot’s failure to maintain the required radius is a likely cause of the accident,” Suresh Acharya said in The Telegraph.
Officials first blamed a bird striking the airplane and causing the right engine to burst into flame.
The twin-engine airplane, a Dornier, crashed at the Manohara riverbank early Friday morning in clear conditions.
Witnesses said the Sita Air aircraft was burning before it hit the ground.
Seven Britons died in the crash, and UK crash investigators are headed to Nepal to assist with the investigation, The Guardian said.
The group was traveling with Explore Worldwide and headed to the world’s highest mountain on a trekking holiday.
“He was going because he always wanted to see Everest. If you love the mountains, it is the ultimate,” said Angie Gaunt, whose husband Timothy Oakes died in the crash.
More from GlobalPost: Bird hits airplane before it crashes in Nepal