World Neighbours 30 May 2022 No survivors found a ...

No survivors found at Tara Air plane crash site, collection of dead bodies begins

Published May 30, 2022, 12:10 pm IST
Updated May 30, 2022, 12:29 pm IST
This handout photograph released by Fishtail Air, shows the wreckage of a plane in a gorge in Sanosware in Mustang district close to the mountain town of Jomsom, west of Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, May 30, 2022. (Fishtail Air via AP)
 This handout photograph released by Fishtail Air, shows the wreckage of a plane in a gorge in Sanosware in Mustang district close to the mountain town of Jomsom, west of Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, May 30, 2022. (Fishtail Air via AP)

Kathmandu: No survivors have been found from the Tara Airlines plane that crashed in Nepal's mountainous Mustang district on Sunday with 22 people on board, including four Indians, according to Nepalese media reports on Monday.

The turboprop Twin Otter 9N-AET plane belonging to Tara Air went missing on Sunday morning in a mountainous region in Nepal and had four Indian nationals, two Germans and 13 Nepali passengers, besides a three-member Nepali crew. The Canadian-built plane was flying from the city of Pokhara to Jomsom, a popular tourist town in central Nepal.

Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority said 14 bodies have been found. However, the bodies have not been identified, it said in a tweet.

The wreckage of a plane was found in the country's Mustang district on Monday, the Nepal Army said.

The airline issued the list of passengers which identified four Indians as Ashok Kumar Tripathy, his wife Vaibhavi Bandekar (Tripathy) and their children Dhanush and Ritika. The family was based in Thane city near Mumbai.

“The search and rescue troops have physically located the plane crash site. Details will be followed,” Nepal Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Narayan Silwal said on Twitter.

“Crash site: Sanosware, Thasang-2, Mustang,” he tweeted along with a picture of what appears to be the wreckage of the aircraft.

Lt Mangal Shrestha, a police inspector and a guide have already reached the site, he said.

"Other rescue team members from different agencies are trying to reach the sites using small helicopters. Every possible means to reach the site is being considered," Brig Gen. Silwal said.

Inda Singh, who reached the crash site, said the plane was found in a completely damaged condition, the MyRepublica newspaper reported. Singh said there was no fire on the aircraft. The aircraft could have met with an accident after hitting a cliff nearby.

Singh said that rescuers were facing problems in collecting the remaining bodies as they were in a nearby ditch. He said that security personnel did not arrive at the crash site as they did not believe the information given by local shepherds.

The plane took off at 9:55 am from Pokhara and lost contact with air control about 12 minutes later at 10:07 am, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

The search and rescue team reached the crash site on Monday morning. Sudarshan Bartaula, a spokesperson of Tara Air, also confirmed that the bodies of 14 people have been found.

“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 told the newspaper.

The plane slammed into the mountain breaking into pieces, said Bartaula.

“The impact has blown the bodies all over the hill,” he said.

The photo posted on the social media site shows the tail and one wing of the aircraft remain intact.

The helicopter dropped three rescuers — from Nepal Army, Nepal Police and a high altitude rescue guide — early in the morning.

As the area can accommodate only one chopper at the crash site, it is shuttling the rescuers, said Bartaula.

The search was suspended on Sunday because of bad weather and failing light.

Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Everest, has a record of air accidents.

In 2016, all 23 people aboard were killed when a plane of the same airline flying the same route crashed after takeoff.

In March 2018, a US-Bangla Air crash occurred at the Tribhuvan International Airport, killing 51 people on board.

A Sita Air flight crashed in September 2012 while making an emergency landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport, killing 19 people.

A plane flying from Pokhara to Jomsom crashed near Jomsom airport on May 14, 2012, killing 15 people.

Tara Air is the newest and biggest airline service provider in the Nepalese mountains, according to the airline website. It started its business in 2009 with the mission of helping develop rural Nepal.

Location: Nepal, Central, Kathmandu


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