Rescuers retrieve 21 bodies from wreckage of Nepal plane

Published May 31, 2022
The wreckage of a Twin Otter aircraft lay on a mountainside in Mustang on Monday.—AFP
The wreckage of a Twin Otter aircraft lay on a mountainside in Mustang on Monday.—AFP

POKHARA: Nepali rescuers have retrieved the bodies of all but one of 22 people on board a plane that crashed into a Himalayan mountainside over the weekend, the army said on Monday.

Air traffic control lost contact with the Twin Otter plane operated by Nepali carrier Tara Air shortly after it took off from Pokhara in western Nepal on Sunday morning headed for Jomsom, a popular trekking destination.

Resuming a search on Monday after failing to find any trace a day earlier, the army shared on social media a photo of aircraft parts and other debris littering a sheer mountainside, including a wing with the registration number 9N-AET clearly visible.

“Twenty-one bodies have been recovered and teams are searching for the remaining one,” Nepal Army spokesman Narayan Silwal said.

“It is a very difficult area to work. The aircraft is several pieces scattered all over the slope,” a police official at the crash site said.

About 60 people were involved in the operation, including the army, police, mountain guides and locals, most of whom trekked uphill for miles on foot to get there.

The civil aviation authority said the plane “met an accident” at 14,500 feet (4,420 metres) in the Sanosware area of Thasang municipality.

“Analysing the pictures we received, it seems that the flight did not catch fire. Everything is scattered in the site. The flight seems to have collided with a big rock on the hill,” said Pokhara Airport spokesman Dev Raj Subedi.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2022

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