The wreckage of a plane lost in Nepal’s mountains was found on Monday and all 22 people on board, including four Indians, are presumed dead after no survivors were found, local media reported. Aerial photos of the crash site accessed by news agency AFP showed aircraft parts scattered on rocks and moss on the side of a mountain gorge. The airline in question – Tara Air – also suffered a fatal accident in 2016 on the same route when a plane with 23 onboard crashed into a mountain, killing all of them. The Himalayan country has some of the most dangerous runways and is prone to air accidents due to bad weather and tricky terrain. Nepal’s deadliest known plane crash took place 30 years ago when all 167 aboard an aircraft died.
No survivors have been after the Tara Air plane crashed in Nepal’s mountainous Mustang district on Sunday with 22 people on board.
Four Indians – Vaibhavi Tripathi and her former husband Ashok Tripathi, along with their two children – were also on board when the plane went missing. They were directed by a family court to go on a holiday every year after their divorce, officials said. Apart from four Indians, there were two Germans on the plane.
Speaking about the rescue operations, a spokesperson of Tara Air Sudarshan Bartaula told the local media that the bodies were “scattered over a 100-metre radius from the main impact point,” and we’re in an “unrecognisable condition”, reported PTI. Explaining the tragic accident, he said that the plane slammed into the mountain breaking into pieces and the impact had “blown the bodies all over the hill”.
The plane took off at 9:55 am from the tourist destination of Pokhara and lost contact with air control about 12 minutes later at 10:07 am, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. It was at an altitude of 12,825 feet when it lost signal.
Pieces of the wreckage of the aircraft were found after nearly 20 hours since the plane went missing, the Nepal Army said on Monday. The aircraft crashed on the hill about 4,000 metres above sea level, Chief District Officer of Mustang Netra Prasad Sharma was quoted as saying.
The turboprop Twin Otter 9N-AET – the aircraft model involved in the accident – is a rugged plane originally built by Canadian aircraft manufacturer De Havilland; it has been in service in Nepal for about 50 years, during which it has been involved in about 21 accidents.
Meanwhile, the airline in question – Tara Air – is a subsidiary of Yeti Airlines, a privately owned domestic carrier that services many remote destinations across Nepal. It suffered its last fatal accident in 2016 on the same route when a plane with 23 onboard crashed into a mountainside in Myagdi district.
In March 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines plane crash-landed near Kathmandu’s infamously difficult international airport, skidded into a football field and burst into flames. 51 people died and 20 miraculously escaped the burning wreckage but sustained serious injuries.
Nepal’s deadliest known plane crash is said to be the one in 1992, when all 167 people aboard a Pakistan International Airlines plane died when it crashed on approach to Kathmandu airport. Just two months earlier in the same year (August 1992), a Thai Airways aircraft had crashed near the same airport, killing 113 people.
The European Union has banned all Nepali airlines from its airspace over safety concerns. The Himalayan country also has some of the world’s most remote and tricky runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with approaches that pose a challenge even for accomplished pilots. The weather can also change quickly in the mountains, creating treacherous flying conditions.
This article has not been edited by our staff and has been posted to provide information to our users about the incident.