KATHMANDU, Jan 15 (Reuters) – At least 64 individuals had been killed on Sunday when a home flight crashed in Pokhara in Nepal, the small Himalayan nation’s worst air crash in three a long time.
Hundreds of rescue employees had been scouring the hillside the place the Yeti Airlines flight, carrying 72 individuals from the capital Kathmandu, went down.
Local TV confirmed rescue employees scrambling round damaged sections of the plane. Some of the bottom close to the crash web site was scorched, with licks of flames seen.
“We have sent 31 bodies to the hospital and are still taking out 33 bodies from the gorge,” mentioned police official Ajay Okay.C., including that rescue employees had been having issue reaching the location in a gorge between two hills close to the vacationer city’s airport.
(*30*)The crash is Nepal’s deadliest since 1992, the Aviation Safety Network database confirmed, when a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A300 crashed right into a hillside upon method to Kathmandu, killing all 167 individuals on board.
The airplane made contact with the airport from Seti Gorge at 10:50 a.m. (0505 GMT), the aviation authority mentioned in a press release. “Then it crashed.”
“Half of the plane is on the hillside,” mentioned Arun Tamu, an area resident, who informed Reuters he reached the location minutes after the airplane went down. “The other half has fallen into the gorge of the Seti river.”
Khum Bahadur Chhetri mentioned he watched from the roof of his home because the flight approached.
“I saw the plane trembling, moving left and right, and then suddenly its nose dived and it went into the gorge,” Chhetri informed Reuters, including that native residents took two passengers to a hospital.
The authorities has arrange a panel to research the reason for the crash and it’s anticipated to report inside 45 days, the finance minister, Bishnu Paudel, informed reporters.
SERIES OF CRASHES
At least 309 individuals have died since 2000 in airplane or helicopter crashes in Nepal – house to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, together with Everest – the place sudden climate adjustments could make for hazardous circumstances.
The European Union has banned Nepali airways from its airspace since 2013, citing security considerations.
Those on the twin-engine ATR 72 plane included two infants and 4 crew members, mentioned airline spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula.
The journey to Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest metropolis tucked below the picturesque Annapurna mountain vary, from the capital Kathmandu is among the Himalayan nation’s hottest vacationer routes, with many preferring a brief flight as a substitute of a six-hour-long drive via hilly roads.
The climate on Sunday was clear, mentioned Jagannath Niroula, spokesman for Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Passengers included 5 Indians, 4 Russians and one Irish, two South Korean, one Australian, one French and one Argentine nationwide.
The ATR72 of European planemaker ATR is a extensively used twin engine turboprop airplane manufactured by a three way partnership of Airbus (AIR.PA) and Italy’s Leonardo (LDOF.MI). Yeti Airlines has a fleet of six ATR72-500 planes, in keeping with its web site.
“ATR specialists are fully engaged to support both the investigation and the customer,” the corporate mentioned on Twitter, including that its first ideas had been for these affected, after having been knowledgeable of the accident.
Airbus and Leonardo didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Flight monitoring web site FlightRadar24 mentioned on Twitter the Yeti Airlines plane was 15 years outdated and outfitted with an outdated transponder with unreliable knowledge.
“We are downloading high-resolution data and verifying the data quality,” it mentioned.
On its web site, Yeti describes itself as a number one home service. Its fleet consists of six ATR 72-500s, together with the one which crashed. It additionally owns Tara Air, and the 2 collectively provide the “widest network” in Nepal, the corporate says.
Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Additional reporting by Jamie Freed; Writing by Devjyot Ghoshal and Aditya Kalra; Editing by William Mallard and Susan Fenton
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