The pilots of a plane that crashed killing all 19 on board Friday in Kathmandu were trying to make an emergency landing, Nepalese authorities said, dpa reported.
The pilots had attempted to return to the capital's Tribhuvan International Airport after the plane collied with birds shortly after take-off, the Civil Aviation Authority said in a press release
"It appeared they were trying to land near the (Manohara) river to avoid settlements, but the plane nose-dived on the banks of the river and caught fire," said Ratish Lal Chandra Suman, an officer at the Civil Aviation Authority.
Some witnesses told local television stations that they saw passengers waving through the windows for help as the aircraft caught fire.
The dead comprised 16 passengers and three crew members. There were seven British and five Chinese citizens among the dead, police told the local Kantipur Television.
Sita Air, the operator of the flight, said there were 12 foreign and four Nepalese passengers on board as well as three Nepalese crew members.
The Dornier aircraft was heading from Kathmandu to Lukla in the Mount Everest region in the north-east of the country when it came down, airport authorities said.
Authorities said they had not been able to identify the bodies, and that they had been transported to the Teaching Hospital for autopsy. TV footage showed bodies charred beyond recognition.
More than 700 people have died in air crashes in the South Asian country since 1955.