Nepal plane crash: Tragic final death toll confirmed

Kathmandu, Nepal - Nepalese officials on Tuesday confirmed all 22 people on board a plane that crashed two days earlier were killed after rescuers found and recovered the final body from the wreckage.

Relatives of victims of the plane crash wait for their loved ones' bodies at a morgue in Kathmandu.
Relatives of victims of the plane crash wait for their loved ones' bodies at a morgue in Kathmandu.  © REUTERS

The bodies have been transported to Kathmandu by helicopter from the crash site in the Himalayas, local media reported. The remains still have to be identified and then handed over to relatives.

The black box was found and is now being evaluated, a member of the recovery team told DPA.

The plane's wreckage was found at an altitude of almost 15,000 feet in Sanosware in Mustang, a Himalayan district north-west of Kathmandu, more than 20 hours after it was first reported missing, according to the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation.

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Police said rescue efforts took longer than expected due to bad weather and difficult terrain.

Nepalese officials to investigate the crash

Members of the Nepalese Army load the body of a victim onto a plane.
Members of the Nepalese Army load the body of a victim onto a plane.  © REUTERS

There were three crew members and 19 passengers on board – 16 were Nepali nationals, two were German, and four were Indian.

The Tara Airlines plane was making the short flight to Jomsom from Pokhara, a popular tourist hub around 125 miles west of Kathmandu, when it lost contact with air traffic control.

The flight usually takes around 20 minutes, but is considered a particularly accident-prone route, even in the context of Nepal's poor track record on air safety. At least 74 people have died on the route in five plane crashes since 1997, according to the Nepali Times.

Nepalese authorities on Monday said that they had formed a commission to investigate the crash.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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