At least 15 passengers, including 13 Indians, were killed when an ill-fated private plane with 21 on board crashed in Nepal's northern Himalayan mountain region on Monday.
A private Dornier aircraft owned by Agni Air company, which was heading to Jomsom from Pokhara, crashed at around 9.45 pm while trying to land at the Jomsom Airport, which is at a very high altitude (8,800 feet) and a gateway to a popular tourist trekking and pilgrimage destination visited by Hindus.
"Among those killed are 13 Indians and two Nepalis," Reuters quoted Kathmandu airport official Mahesh Shrestha as saying.
Sources said that six survivors from the air crash have been rushed to the hospital, of which at least one person's condition is critical. Two Danish tourists were among the survivors.
The cause of the crash was not known immediately.
Expressing his deep condolence External Affairs Minister SM Krishna in a statement said, "I am deeply saddened to hear about the tragic air crash that occurred earlier this morning near Jomsom airport in Nepal. I would like to convey my deep condolences to the families of all those who have lost their lives in this accident."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who have lost their near and dear ones. I hope that the Almighty will grant them strength to bear their loss with fortitude," he said.?
In September last year, 19 people who were returning after viewing Mount Everest were killed when their plane crashed due to bad weather near Kathmandu.
Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountain peaks, including Mount Everest.
Tens of thousands of hikers and foreign tourists go to Mount Everest and other trekking routes to see the lofty Himalayan peaks every year.
Tourism, a key source of earning for impoverished Nepal, accounts for nearly four percent of the gross domestic product and employs tens of thousands of people.
(With inputs from Agencies)