Rescuers recover the bodies of victims from the crash site of the Yeti Airlines plane in Pokhara, Nepal. Photo/REUTERS/Bijay Neupane
POKHARA – The authority Nepal began returning the bodies of the victims of the Yeti Airlines plane that crashed last Sunday. They will also send the plane’s data recorder to France for analysis to determine the cause of the country’s deadliest crash in 30 years.
The Yeti Airlines plane crashed into a canyon on Sunday while trying to land at the newly opened Pokhara International Airport in the foothills of the Himalayas, killing at least 70 of the 72 people on board.
Rescuers managed to recover the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder (FDR) on Monday, and combed through debris scattered in a 300-metre-deep canyon for the missing, but presumed dead.
The latest developments show that one body was found today, Tuesday (17/1/2023), and two are still missing.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal spokesman Jagannath Niraula said the cockpit voice recorder would be analyzed locally, but the FDR would be sent to France. The aircraft manufacturer, ATR, is headquartered in Toulouse. France’s Air Accidents Investigation Agency confirmed it was participating in the investigation, and that its investigators were at the scene today.
The twin-engine ATR 72-500 aircraft, operated by Yeti Airlines Nepal, completed a 27-minute flight from the capital, Kathmandu, to the resort city of Pokhara, 200 kilometers west.
It remains unclear what caused the crash, which occurred less than a minute’s flight from the airport with light winds and clear skies.
The man who took smartphone footage of the plane’s descent said it looked like a normal landing until the plane suddenly veered left.
Read: Husband of Yeti Airlines Co-Pilot, who crashed in Nepal, died in a 2006 accident
“I saw that and I was shocked… I thought that today everything will be finished here. After it collapses, I will also die,” Diwas Bohora said as quoted by The Associated Press.
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