Nepal crash: 70 bodies retrieved as rescuers search for two missing passengers


Rescue teams were searching for two passengers unaccounted for Tuesday morning from the deadliest plane crash in the country in 30 years. They are using drones and rappelling down the 200-metre deep gorge into which the Yeti Airlines ATR 72 turboprop carrying 72 people crashed on Sunday just before landing. Seventy bodies have been retrieved till now.

Two more bodies were found on Monday before the search was called off because of fading light. Bad weather and the terrain in Pokhara are hampering rescue efforts. 

“There is thick fog here now. We are sending search and rescue personnel using ropes into the gorge where parts of the plane fell and was in flames,” Ajay KC, a police official in Pokhara who is part of the rescue efforts, told Reuters.


“There were small children among the passengers…and may not be found out (since the plane had caught fire). We will continue to look for them,” KC said.

Meanwhile, Nepali hospital staff began handing over bodies to grieving families on Tuesday. 

Up to 10 bodies were transferred by army truck from Pokhara hospital to the airport from where they will be airlifted back to Kathmandu. Another three bodies were handed over to grieving families in Pokhara, with others due to follow.

 The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were found on Monday, both in good condition. The black boxes will help investigators understand what caused the crash.

Under international aviation rules, the crash investigation agencies of the countries where the plane and engines were designed and built are automatically part of the inquiry. ATR is based in France and the plane’s engines were manufactured in Canada by Pratt & Whitney Canada.

French and Canadian air accident investigators have said they plan to participate in the probe.

A Pokhara airport spokesman had said that the pilot of the crashed flight did not report “anything untoward” as the plane approached the airport. Anup Joshi said that the “mountains were clear and visibility was good” and the weather was perfectly fine. 

(With inputs from agencies)


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