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Nepal air crash: Last dead body recovered

Authorities in Nepal resumed their search operation on Tuesday to retrieve the last body, a day after rescuers recovered 21 bodies
Bereaved family members of the deceased in the crash
Bereaved family members of the deceased in the crash
File Picture

Shirish B Pradhan   |   Kathmandu   |   Published 31.05.22, 08:44 AM

Rescuers on Tuesday recovered the last body from the wreckage site of the Tara Air plane that crashed in Nepal's mountainous Mustang district on Sunday, confirming the death of all 22 people on board, including four Indians.

Authorities in Nepal resumed their search operation on Tuesday morning to retrieve the last body, a day after rescuers recovered 21 bodies from the wreckage site of the turboprop Twin Otter 9N-AET plane that crashed in the mountainous Mustang district amidst bad weather.

"The last dead body has been recovered. Arranging to bring the remaining 12 dead bodies from the crash site to Kathmandu," Nepal Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Narayan Silwal tweeted.

"With the recovery of one more body by the search and rescue team today (Tuesday) morning, all 22 bodies have been collected from the accident site," said Deochandra Lal Karna, spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

"Ten dead bodies of the plane crash victims have been brought to the base camp from the mountain area, where the accident took place," he said.

Now it is confirmed that all 22 people, including four Indian nationals and three crew members, have been killed in the tragedy, he added.

Tara Airlines has identified the 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.

"Two bodies are still at the accident site. The bad weather condition has prevented rescue operations at the site. As soon as the weather improves the dead bodies will be brought to the base camp," he said.

Ten bodies have already been brought to Kathmandu on Monday and are awaiting postmortem at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj.

By Monday night, rescuers had recovered 21 bodies from the crash site, said a statement issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

The Canadian-built plane, flying from Pokhara to the popular tourist town Jomsom in central Nepal, was carrying four Indians, two Germans and 13 Nepali passengers, besides a three-member Nepali crew.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba have condoled the death of crew members and passengers in the plane crash.

The government has formed a five-member commission of inquiry headed by senior aeronautical engineer Ratish Chandra Lal Suman to find out the cause of the Tara Air plane crash.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the aircraft had crashed into the mountains after it swerved to the right, instead of turning to the left due to inclement weather, CAAN Director-General Pradeep Adhikari said during a meeting of the International Committee of the Parliament on Monday.

On Monday, the CAAN in a statement said that the plane had crashed at Thasang-2 in Mustang district at the height of 14,500 feet.

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

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's website.

It started its business in 2009 with the mission of helping develop rural Nepal.

PTI



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