Disasters & Accidents

Rescuers pull 21 bodies from Tara Air aircraft crash site

Kathmandu, May 30 (EFE).- Rescuers Monday pulled out 21 bodies from the site where a plane with 22 people on board crashed during inclement weather a day ago, officials said.

The Tara Air Twin Otter aircraft disappeared Sunday when it lost contact with the control tower, 12 minutes after taking off from the tourism capital, Pokhara, 200 km (125 miles) west of Kathmandu.

Ten bodies were transferred to Kathmandu by the emergency services, and another 10 remained at the accident site, while attempts were being made to reach one dead body spotted at the scene, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal’s spokesperson Deo Chandra Lal Karna told EFE.

He added that search was on to locate the final missing person aboard the plane.

Nepali Army spokesperson Brigadier General Narayan Silwal said they found the wreckage of the crashed plane.

“Search and rescue troops have physically located the plane crash site,” Silwal tweeted.

Tara Air spokesperson Sudarshan Badtaula told EFE that wreckage was found at 14,500 ft in Sano Sware Bhir in northwestern Nepal.

“So far, we have recovered 14 bodies from the crash site,” he said.

It took nearly 20 hours for the search and rescue team to locate the crash site.

The Twin Otter aircraft of Tara Air, with 22 people on board, including three crew members, had slammed into a mountain, said Badtaula.

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

He said the rescuers were looking for the missing in a 100-meter radius area from the main impact point.

The plane took off at 9.55 am from Pokhara to Jomsom and lost contact with air control about 12 minutes later, said a Civil Aviation Authority statement.

Search and rescue resumed on Monday morning after the operation was called off last evening due to bad weather and failing light.

Jomson, in the Himalayas, is about 20 minutes flight from Pokhara, which lies 200 km northwest of Kathmandu.

It is a popular destination for foreign tourists visiting the Mt Annapurna and Mustang region for trekking and Hindu pilgrims visiting the Muktinath temple.

But flying the route is challenging.

The Pokhara-Jomsom sector, whose en-route terrain is one of the most challenging in the world as planes have to fly through the Kali Gandaki gorge between the two 8000-meter mountains-Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

The Pokhara-Jomsom route has a large share of crashes and casualties.

The first crash in Jomsom was reported on Nov.8, 1993, when a Nepal Airways Y-12 II plane with the registration number 9N-ACS crashed. There were no casualties.

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