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Nepal: the wreckage of the plane found, 21 bodies found of the 22 occupants

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A military official said on Monday that rescuers had found the wreckage of the missing passenger plane in Nepal. A total of 21 bodies were found at the crash site among the 22 people, including two Germans, who were on board, according to aviation authorities.

21 bodies were found in the wreckage of a plane that crashed with 22 people on board the side of a Himalayan mountain in Nepal on Sunday, the Authority said on Monday. country’s civil aviation. “Twenty-one bodies have been recovered and teams are looking for the last one,” Narayan Silwal, spokesman for the Nepalese army, told AFP the day after the twin-engine Twin Otter accident. airline Tara Air.

The plane suffered an accident at an altitude of more than 4,000 m

The Authority had confirmed earlier Monday that the plane had “experienced an accident” at 4,420 meters, in the Sanosware area of ​​the rural municipality of Thasang in the district of Mustang. She did not give details of the cause. “Analyzing the footage we received, it appears the flight did not catch fire. Everything is scattered around the site. The flight appears to have collided with a large rock on the hill,” Dev Raj Subedi said. , spokesperson for Pokhara Airport. About 60 people are hard at work at the site, including military, police, mountain guides and locals, most of whom have walked for miles to reach it.

In addition to the three crew members, the aircraft was carrying 19 passengers including two Germans, four Indians and ten Nepalese. The four Indians were a couple, their daughter and son, aged 15 and 22, Indian police official Uttam Sonawane told AFP. According to Pradeep Gauchan, a local official, the wreckage is about 3,800-4,000 meters above sea level. “It’s very difficult to get there on foot. A team was dropped off near the area by a helicopter, but the weather is cloudy at the moment, so flights weren’t possible,” Gauchan told Reuters. AFP. “The helicopters are on stand-by waiting for the clouds to dissipate,” he added.

Debris strewn on the side of a mountain

Tara Air’s twin-engine Twin Otter took off from the city of Pokhara (central-western Nepal) at 9:55 a.m. (0410 GMT), the country’s second largest city, 200 km west of the capital Kathmandu, before lose radio contact. He was going to Jomsom, a popular area for trekkers in the Himalayas, a 20-minute flight from Pokhara. A photo shared by Nepal Army spokesman Narayan Silwal on Twitter showed plane wreckage strewn on the side of a mountain. The registration number 9N-AET was clearly visible on what appeared to be a piece of wing.

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According to the Aviation Safety Network website, the aircraft was manufactured by the Canadian company De Havilland and first flew more than 40 years ago, in 1979. Search operations had resumed on Monday morning after were interrupted on Sunday at nightfall. Tara Air is a subsidiary of Yeti Airlines, a private domestic airline serving many remote areas of Nepal. Nepalese civil aviation has boomed in recent years, transporting tourists, walkers and mountaineers, as well as goods, to remote and hard-to-reach places by road.

A grim record of aviation safety

Nepal, an impoverished country in the Himalayas, has a dismal aviation safety record due to insufficient pilot training and maintenance. The European Union has banned all Nepalese airlines from accessing its airspace for security reasons. The country also has some of the most dangerous airstrips in the world, located among snow-capped peaks.

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In March 2018, a plane belonging to the Bangladeshi company US-Bangla Airlines crashed near Kathmandu airport, killing 51 people. The deadliest accident dates back to 1992: 167 people were killed on board a Pakistan International Airlines flight near Kathmandu airport. Two months earlier, a Thai Airways plane crashed in the same area, killing 113 people.

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