KATHMANDU, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Friday said that the preliminary investigations and facts of the last communications with the crew members of Sita Aircraft showed that the plane crashed after it was struck by a bird (eagle).
The plane took off at 6:17 a.m. local time from the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), its last communication with air traffic controller said that the plane was struck by a bird and lost control, said Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, General Manager of CAAN in his press release.
Seven Britons, five Chinese, four Nepalese were among the dead in the plane crash killing all 19 on board, including three crew members.
The Sita aircraft 9N AHA-D228 (Dornier) was found doing its emergency landing at Manohara River side which is just 1 km away from the TIA.
The press release issued by the CAAN stated that as soon as the air traffic control center of TIA could not see the signal of the flight at 6:20 a.m. local time, the fatal accident took place.
"Judging from the condition of the crash site, the crew members had tried to do emergency landing in the river," said Suman.
Meanwhile, an eyewitness Surja Maya Dware said she was working at her field on Friday early morning, when she saw a plane coming nearer to her working area.
"I was afraid and started screaming instantly. As soon as the plane fell on the ground, a big blast noise was heard with black smoke rising into the sky," Dware said.
After she rushed to the incident site just 50 meters away, she saw people inside the plane screaming, shouting and waving their hands asking for help, Dware said.
According to her, a rescue team with three fire brigade vehicles arrived at the site after 15 minutes. It took almost 40 minutes to contain the fire.
The five deceased Chinese were identified as Mr. Wu-Hui, Mr. Qian-Mingwu and three women Wu-Lin, Wang-Jhihua and Yang-Chen.
The ill-fated aircraft was on its way from Kathmandu airport to the small town of Lukla, a gateway to Mt. Qomolangma (Everest).