Ben Ogden, a 27-year-old Oxford graduate set to begin his legal career at Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy, was among the 19 people—seven of them British citizens—who died when a twin-engine propeller plane went down near Kathmandu shortly after taking off Friday morning.
The plane, operated by domestic carrier Sita Air, crashed near a river on the outskirts of the Nepal’s capital after a bird reportedly hit one of its engines. The passengers were hikers traveling to the town of Lukla in the Khumbu Pass, a region known as the gateway to Mount Everest and other peaks that attract thousands of adventure-minded tourists each year. Ogden—who had sought to get away on a three-week hiking vacation before joining Allen & Overy as an associate next month— was among them, according to reports in the British press.
The Telegraph reports that Ogden studied law and German at Oxford and lived in north London with his girlfriend. The Royal Latin School in Buckingham, England, which Ogden also attended, paid tribute to its former student in the wake of his death. For its part, Allen & Overy released a statement praising Ogden and mourning his loss.
“Everyone at Allen & Overy is deeply shocked and saddened by the news that Ben Ogden was one of 19 people who were tragically killed in a plane crash in Nepal this morning,” the firm said. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. As well as being an excellent lawyer, Ben was a very popular member of the firm. Ben had recently qualified and it was clear to everyone that he had an incredibly promising career ahead of him. Ben will be deeply missed by all who knew him.”
In addition to the seven Britons, the BBC reports that five Chinese citizens and seven Nepali nationals—three of them crew members—were among the deceased. Nepal’s air safety record is poor, and Friday’s crash occurred on the anniversary of a 1992 plane crash in Kathmandu that claimed the lives of 167 people.
Ogden’s death comes about a month after another fatal plane crash claimed the life of former Greenberg Traurig partner M. Sean McMillan, 70. McMillan died when his Cessna 210 encountered mechanical problems and plummeted into a residential neighborhood in Los Angeles.
McMillan, who joined Greenberg Traurig in 2001 from Bryan Cave, was posthumously credited with saving the lives of people on the ground by steering the plane away from homes and busy streets. He was a past chair of the American Bar Association’s section on international law and volunteered with a charity called AngelFlight, which transports patients in need of medical assistance.