Plane Crashes With 21 On Board

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Police in Nepal say a plane carrying 21 people has crashed in the north of the country, reports the BBC.

The Agni Air plane hit a hillside as it tried to land at Jomsom airport, a hub for trekkers and religious pilgrims.

Reports said a number of people had survived the crash but police reported at least nine deaths. Several Indian nationals were said to be on board.

Aviation accidents involving small aircraft are not uncommon in mountainous Nepal.

The aircraft was carrying 18 passengers and three crew members, and had been travelling to Jomsom from the city of Pokhara.

It crashed at about 09:45 local time (04:00 GMT), reportedly as it was turning to land at the airport.

“It hit a muddy slope and the plane is now buried in the side of the hill,” police spokesman Binod Singh told the AFP news agency.

Rescue workers are working at the crash site and reports say at least four survivors were taken to hospital in Pokhara for treatment.

Jomsom is the district headquarters of the remote Himalayan Mustang close to the Annapurna mountain range. It is also a gateway to the Muktinath pilgrimage site, which is revered by Hindus and Budhists.

Last year 19 people were killed when a plane carrying tourists to view Mount Everest crashed outside Kathmandu.