RESCUERS have found the wreckage of a passenger plane that slammed into the side of a snow-covered mountain in Nepal, killing all 18 people on board including a child.

Moving slowly on foot through thick snow, rescuers pulled out 13 bodies from the crash site and were scouring the area for the remains of the others.

A helicopter was able to spot the wreckage on a mountainside near Machinelek, about 160 miles west of the capital, Katmandu, a day after the Nepal Airlines Twin Otter lost contact in bad weather.

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The plane was flying from Katmandu to Jumla, about 250 miles to the west, when it made an unscheduled fuel stop in the city of Pokhara, about one-third of the way into the journey. Visibility was poor because of the snow, rain and fog.

A police spokesman said that the remote area was covered by snow and it took rescuers several hours to reach there by foot from the nearest town eight miles away.

Police and soldiers were trying to dig a temporary helipad for rescue helicopters to land. The plane was 43 years old.