20 victims found after Nepal air crash, hopes fade for two missing


Hopes were fading in Nepal on Monday of finding any survivors among the 22 people aboard a small plane that crashed into a Himalayan mountainside a day earlier, officials said, with just two people still to be accounted for.

Two Germans, four Indians and 16 Nepalis were aboard the De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter aircraft which crashed 15 minutes after taking off from the tourist town of Pokhara, 125 km west of Kathmandu, on Sunday morning.

"There is very little chance to find survivors," Deo Chandra Lal Karna, a spokesman for Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, said.

Nepali soldiers and rescue workers had retrieved 20 bodies from the wreckage, strewn across a steep slope at an altitude of around 14,500 feet.

The difficult terrain and poor weather had hampered the search parties. An image published in Nepali media showed uniformed rescue workers moving a body from the wreckage and using ropes to haul it on a stretcher up a steep, grassy ridge.

"There is very thick cloud in the area," Netra Prasad Sharma, the most senior bureaucrat in the Mustang district, where the crash took place, he told Reuters by phone. "The search for bodies is going on."

In Kathmandu, relatives of victims waited for the bodies to be brought back from the crash site, and aviation authority said in a tweet that formal identification of victims had yet to take place.

Operated by privately owned Tara Air, the aircraft crashed in cloudy weather on Sunday morning and the wreckage wasn't spotted until Monday morning by Nepal's army. 

The destination was Jomsom, a popular tourist and pilgrimage site that lies about 80 km northwest of Pokhara - usually a 20-minute flight.

But the aircraft lost contact with the Pokhara control tower five minutes before it was due to land, airline officials said. 

The crash site is close to Nepal's border with China, in region where Mount Dhaulagiri, the world's seventh highest peak at 8,167 metres is located.

Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 said the aircraft, with registration number 9N-AET, made its first flight 43 years ago.

More from International

Coming Up on Dubai Eye

  • Nights on Dubai Eye 103.8

    11:00pm - 6:00am

    Dubai Eye complements the conversation with the music you love from the eighties, nineties and newer.

  • The Business Breakfast

    6:00am - 10:00am

    The Business Breakfast is the day’s must listen for the UAE’s business leaders, and those who aspire to be.


On Dubai Eye

  • Flying Taxis

    It sounds like an episode of The Jetsons, but the sight of flying taxis whizzing around our cities could be much closer than you think.

  • Tough penalties for deliberate tax evasion

    The UAE has said that tougher penalties will come into force from 1st August for not keeping proper corporate tax records.