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All 18 on board Nepalese plane likely dead

Feb. 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM

JUMLA, Nepal, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A Nepal Airlines plane bound for Jumla from Katmandu crashed Sunday and officials said they're nearly certain all 18 on board died.

The plane went missing early Sunday and was found crashed in the forests near Arghakhachi, the New York Times reported.

Crew members were last in contact with air traffic controllers at about 1:15 a.m. local time Sunday to report poor weather conditions and their inability to continue toward their destination.

"We lost all contact after that," authorities said.

The European Union in December blacklisted Nepal's airlines, citing safety concerns, the BBC reported.

In 2012, two separate crashes in Nepal left 34 people dead. In September of that year, a Sita Air plane crashed near Kathmandu, killing 19 people. Fifteen people died in May 2012 when a plane operated by Agni Air crashed at a high-altitude airport.

More than 650 people have been killed in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal since 1949.

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