Seven Britons have died after a plane burst into flames and crashed in Nepal, killing all 19 on board.
The twin-engine propeller Dornier plane crashed shortly after take-off at about 6.15am on Friday local time, landing in a field near the capital, Kathmandu. Five Chinese people, three Nepalese passengers and four crew members were also killed, with reports suggesting the accident was caused by a bird strike.
The British group, who arrived in Nepal on Wednesday and were due to begin trekking in the Himalayas, were travelling with Hampshire-based travel company Explore Worldwide.
They were named as Raymond Eagle, 58, from Warrington, Cheshire, Timothy Oakes, 57, from Winwick, near Warrington, Vincent Kelly, 50, from Lostock, Bolton, and his brother Darren Kelly, 45, who moved from Bolton to the village of Isle of Whithorn in southern Galloway a few years ago. Christopher Davey, 51, Stephen Holding, 60, and lawyer Benjamin Ogden, 27, from London also perished.
The plane, belonging to Nepal's domestic airline Sita Air, was heading east towards Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest and a popular destination for trekkers. The pilot reported trouble two minutes after take-off, and Tribhuvan International Airport official Ratish Chandra Suman said the plane appeared to have been trying to turn back to the airport.
Witnesses said they heard screaming coming from inside the plane before it crashed into a field and said it was already on fire before it hit the ground.
Footage showed the front section of the plane was on fire when it hit the ground, and it appeared the pilot attempted to land the plane on open ground beside a river. The fire quickly spread to the rear, but the tail was still in one piece at the crash site.
Photographs showed a large blaze emitting thick black plumes of smoke, with shocked locals standing around. They were unable to approach the plane because of the fire and it took some time for firefighters to reach the area and bring the blaze under control.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We can confirm that there were seven British national fatalities. The embassy remains in contact with the Nepalese authorities."
The Foreign Office has set up a helpline for concerned UK relatives to call on 020 7008 1500.