Plane disappearance in Nepal: 14 bodies found in wreckage

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Dozens of bodies have been found in the wreckage of a plane missing since Sunday, May 29 in Nepal. There were 22 people on board. The authorities continue to search.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said today, Monday, that 14 bodies have been found in the wreckage of a plane that crashed on Sunday with 22 people on board, on the side of a mountain in Nepal.

“Fourteen bodies have been recovered so far, and the search is continuing for the other bodies. The weather is very bad but we managed to get a team to the crash site. It was not possible to make other flights,” Dew Chandra Lal Karn spokesman told AFP. , the day after the accident. The plane was carrying 19 passengers, including two Germans, four Indians and 10 Nepalese, in addition to three crew members.

According to Pradeep Gauchan, a local official, the wreck is located at an altitude of about 3800-4000 meters above sea level. “It is very difficult to get there on foot. A team was disembarked near the area by helicopter, but the weather is cloudy at the moment so flights are not possible,” Gauchan told Reuters. “The helicopters are on standby, waiting for the clouds to dissipate,” he added.

The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that the plane “accidentally crashed” at an altitude of 4,420 meters in the Sanossuer district of Thasang rural municipality in the Mustang district. It did not give details of the reason. The twin-engine plane, Twin Otter, took off from Pokhara (central western Nepal) at 09:55 (04:10 GMT), the second largest city in the country, 200 kilometers west of the capital Kathmandu, before losing radio. Call. He was heading to Jomsom, a popular hiking area in the Himalayas, a 20-minute flight from Pokhara.

Hard to reach area

A photo posted by Nepal Army spokesman Narayan Silwal on Twitter showed plane wreckage scattered on the side of a mountain. Registration number 9N-AET was clearly visible on what appeared to be a piece of the wing.

According to the Aviation Safety Network website, the plane was built by Canada’s de Havilland and first flew in more than 40 years, in 1979. Searches resumed Monday morning after being halted Sunday at nightfall. Dev Raj Subedi, a spokesman for Pokhara Airport, said the search tracked GPS signals, mobile phones and satellites to the crash site.

Tara Air is a subsidiary of Yeti Airlines, a private domestic airline serving many remote areas of Nepal. Nepalese aviation has flourished in recent years, transporting tourists, pedestrians, and mountaineers, as well as cargo, to remote and hard-to-reach places by road.

grim safety record

Nepal, a poor country in the Himalayas, has a dismal flight safety record due to insufficient pilot training and maintenance. The European Union has banned all Nepalese airlines from accessing its airspace for security reasons.

The country also has some of the most dangerous trails in the world, located in the middle of snow-capped peaks. In March 2018, a US Bangladesh Airlines plane crashed near Kathmandu airport, killing 51 people. The following year, three people were killed when a plane failed to take off and collided with two helicopters. The accident took place at Lukla Airport, the gateway to Everest, which is famous for being one of the airports in the world where landing and taking off are among the most complicated.

The deadliest accident dates back to 1992: 167 people were killed on board a Pakistan International Airlines plane near Kathmandu airport. Two months ago, a Thai Airways plane crashed in the same area, killing 113 people. In May, Nepal’s second international airport opened in Bhairahawa, allowing pilgrims from all over Asia to travel to Buddha’s birthplace of nearby Lumbini. This project, with a cost of $76 million, would make it possible to empty Kathmandu International Airport.

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