SAR Team Evacuates 32 Bodies from the Plane Crash Site in Nepal. PHOTOS/Reuters
KATHMANDU – Aircraft Yeti Airlines ATR72 from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Nepal , on Sunday (15/1/2023) morning it fell near its destination. The aircraft was carrying 68 passengers and four cabin crew led by senior captain, Kamal KC.
The 72-seater aircraft took off at 10.30am from Kathmandu, before crashing into the Seti gorge between the old airport and Pokhara International Airport in Ward 15 near the Sitaram Bridge. The plane was engulfed in flames soon after.
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As quoted by the Nepali Times, an eyewitness video shows the nose of the plane apparently stopped rising and dived sharply before crashing.
According to the rescue team, 32 bodies have been recovered so far. But observers said it was unlikely that anyone had survived the crash given the crash site was in a deep narrow gorge.
Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police teams were unable to extinguish the fire even 2 hours after the accident. The crowds at the time of the accident took photos and videos with cellphones making the rescue more difficult and adding to the traffic in the area.
This is the rare incident where a plane on the baggage route crashes during good weather. The plane landed at Pokhara’s newly inaugurated new international airport on January 1, 2023.
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“It is too early to determine the cause of the crash, but from eyewitness videos the plane appears to have been at altitude before stopping, probably. trying to do a go-around,” explained an aviation expert who wished to remain anonymous, told the Nepali Times.
The expert said what needed to be determined was what had caused the jam: whether it was a bird strike, or a steep nose that gave off low-altitude airspeed.
One of the reasons for the delay in opening the new airport was that the Pokhara landfill was located on the Seti River near the runway, posing a bird strike hazard to landing aircraft.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane have visited the Kathmandu airport control room. Dahal had earlier convened an emergency Council of Ministers meeting, while Lamichhane had directed authorities for immediate rescue and assistance.
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