The 19-seater Twin Otter carrying 15 passengers and three crew members lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after taking off from the popular tourist town of Pokhara on Sunday. (Agencies)
"The Jumla-bound plane that crashed on a hill at the Masine Lek of Argakhanchi district has left all 18 people on board dead," Nepal Police spokesperson Ganesh KC said.
All the dead bodies have been recovered from the accident site in Dhikura village, which lies some 500 km west of Kathmandu, and are being brought to Kathmandu by air, Ganesh said.
The victims include Nepal Army's Major Deepak Shrestha, ruling Nepali Congress' Jumla district president Manav Sejuwal and Danish national M Mathiesen, according to the officials.
Poor visibility and bad weather is said to be the cause of the air crash, according to preliminary investigation.
The aircraft that was scheduled to land at 1:45 pm at Jumla Airport had gone out of contact with air traffic control (ATC) tower in Bhairahawa at 1:13 pm after seeking permission for diverting the plane.
The aircraft had taken off from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport at 12 pm and stopped in Pokhara for refuelling. The wreckage of the plane was found only this morning. Continuous rain and fog had prevented the rescue operations on Sunday.
In December, the European Union put all of Nepal's airlines on blacklist, citing safety fears. In September 2012, a plane operated by Nepal's Sita Air crashed near Kathmandu airport, killing 19 people. In May 2012, 15 people died when an Agni Air plane carrying Indian pilgrims to a Hindu religious site in northern Nepal crashed at a high-altitude airport.
The 19-seater Twin Otter carrying 15 passengers and three crew members lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after taking off from the popular tourist town of Pokhara on Sunday.