Nepal plane crash: No hopes of finding any survivors, officials say


Officials on Wednesday said that there was no chance of finding any survivors in Nepal’s deadliest air crash in 30 years. Rescue teams 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 in Pokhara just before landing. Seventy one bodies have been retrieved till now.

“There is no possibility of finding any survivor. We have collected 71 bodies so far. The search for the last one will continue,” Tek Bahadur KC, a top district official in Pokhara, said on Wednesday. 

Ajay KC, a police official at the rescue site, said that identifying bodies and accounting for all 72 people has been difficult because of the state of the remains.

“Until the hospital tests show all 72 bodies, we’ll continue to search for the last person,” he said.


Sixty eight bodies were found on the day of the crash, while two more were recovered on Monday. One more body was found late Tuesday afternoon. The flow of a nearby river was diverted to look for bodies, said Gurudutt Ghimire, another official who is part of search operations.

“There is nothing left there. But the search will continue,” Ghimire said.

Meanwhile, the process of returning bodies to the families also began on Tuesday. Hospital workers loaded bodies wrapped in plastic onto army trucks, which then left for the airport, where the bodies were to be airlifted back to the capital Kathmandu.

“Eight bodies have been handed to families. We will hand over another 14 bodies after completing autopsies here in Pokhara. Forty-eight bodies have been sent to Kathmandu for DNA tests and handover to the families,” police official AK Chhetri said.

The cause of the crash was not yet known. However, a video on social media showed the twin-engine aircraft banking suddenly and sharply to the left as it neared Pokhara airport. A loud explosion can then be heard.

On Monday, searchers found the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder in good condition. They will prove imperative in discovering the cause of the crash. Since Nepal does not have facilities to read black boxes, the devices will be sent wherever the manufacturer recommends.

(With inputs from agencies)


You can now write for and be a part of the community. Share your stories and opinions with us here.

Leave a Reply