Nepal Finds Wreckage Of Missing Plane; 14 Bodies Recovered
- Nepal Army has been coordinating and leading the search operation.
- Bad weather and nightfall caused the search to be suspended until Monday.
- 14 bodies have been recovered so far, search continues for the remaining.
Kathmandu: Nepal’s army said on Monday it had located the crash site of a plane that went missing with 22 people on board during cloudy weather on Sunday. “Search and rescue troops have physically located the plane crash site,” army spokesperson Narayan Silwal said by posting a picture of the wreckage with the plane’s tail number clearly visible and parts of the aircraft shown scattered on the edge of a mountain.
Four Indians, two Germans and 16 Nepalis were on board the plane, according to the airline and government officials. Rescuers pulled out 14 bodies from the crash site of Tara Air and have been scouring the area for the remains of the others, according to rescuers. Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesperson of Tara Air, said that, “as the bodies have been scattered over a 100 metre radius from the main impact point, the search and rescue team is collecting them,” he said.
The aircraft was on a 20-minute flight before losing contact with the control tower. It had taken off from the tourist town of Pokhara, 125 kilometres (80 miles) west of the capital, Kathmandu, and was bound for Jomsom, about 80 km (50 miles) northwest of Pokhara. Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 said the aircraft, with registration number 9N-AET, made its first flight in April 1979.
Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest, has a record of air accidents. Its weather can change suddenly and airstrips are typically located in mountainous areas that are hard to reach. In early 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu crashed on landing and caught fire, killing 51 of the 71 people on board.