Nepal's Yeti says Twin Otter crashed in fog

Singapore
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Poor visibility due to fog is being cited as a potential contributing factor in yesterday's fatal crash of a Yeti Airlines de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter in Nepal.

Airport officials and the airline say there was fog over the airfield at Lukla, in eastern Nepal, at the time of yesterday's crash.

"According to the eyewitnesses, the entire airport region was suddenly covered with fog right after two other [Yeti Airlines] aircraft had landed successfully," the airline says in a statement.

The Twin Otter was operating a 40min-long domestic flight from Nepal's capital Kathmandu to Lukla when it crashed on landing at 07:31.

Only the captain survived the crash, which killed two Nepalese crew-members and all 16 passengers. All but two of the passengers were foreign nationals.

Yeti Airlines says the injured captain of the aircraft is being treated in hospital and is "reported to be out of danger". The Nepalese Government has formed a five-member committee to investigate the accident.

The aircraft crashed on landing on Lukla airport's short paved airstrip and burst into flames. The airport is typically busy at this time of year as it is the autumn climbing season in the mountainous nation of Nepal and Lukla is where many foreign visitors begin the trek to Mt Everest.

Lukla's airport is more than 9,000ft (2,740m) above sea level and is a challenging one for operations as it has a sloping runway with a cliff at the lower end.