Nepal plane crash: 14 bodies recovered, 'some beyond recognition'
Fourteen bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of a plane that crashed into a mountainside in Nepal on Sunday, with 22 people on board, including four Indians. Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority's spokesperson Deo Chandra Lal Karn said search operations are continuing for the remaining. "The weather is very bad but we were able to take a team to the crash site," Karn added.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed Tara Air's Twin Otter 9N-AET plane that was missing for over 20 hours had crashed at a height of 14,500 feet in Thasang's Sano Sware Bhir of Mustang district in northwestern Nepal. Reportedly, teams of Nepal Army, Air Dynasty, Kailash Helicopter, Fishtail Air Helicopter, and other rescue workers have been deployed for the search and rescue operations.
According to Nepal's CAA, Fishtail Air's 9N-AJR Helicopter was the first to land at the crash site. News reports quoted Tek Raj Sitaula, spokesperson for Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, as saying, "Some of the bodies of the passengers are beyond recognition. Police gathering the remains."
The plane was flying from the city of Pokhara to Jomsom, a popular tourist destination. However, it lost contact minutes after it took off from Pokhara at around 10:00 am on Sunday. "The aircraft was seen over the sky of Jomsom in Mustang and then had diverted to Mt. Dhaulagiri after which it hadn't come into contact," Chief District Officer Netra Prasad Sharma said.
Nepal, which has eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, has a record of air accidents. In 2016, all 23 people aboard were killed when a Tara Air-owned plane flying on the same route crashed after takeoff. Later, in March 2018, US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 crashed at the Tribhuvan International Airport, killing 51 of the 71 people on board.