Nepal recovers bodies of all 22 victims of plane crash; voice recorder found

Kathmandu, May 31 (BNA) Today, Tuesday, Nepalese search and rescue teams retrieved the body of the last 22 people on board a small plane that crashed in the Himalayas two days ago and found the aircraft’s audio recording device.

Two Germans, four Indians and 16 Nepalese were aboard the de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter that crashed 15 minutes after take-off from the tourist city of Pokhara, 125 kilometers (80 miles) west of Kathmandu, on Sunday morning.

The plane was heading to Jomsom, a popular tourist and pilgrimage site, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Pokhara, on a flight that was supposed to take 20 minutes, Reuters reported.

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said the aircraft only had a voice recorder to maintain ground-to-air and air-to-air conversations. Modern aircraft have two such “black boxes” – the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.

“There is nothing left but debris at the crash site now,” Deo Chandra Lal Karna told Reuters. All the bodies and the black box have been recovered.”

The plane was operated by privately owned Tara Air, and made its maiden flight in April 1979, according to flight-tracking website Flightradar24.

Soldiers and rescue workers pulled out 21 bodies from the wreckage, strewn across a steep cliff at an altitude of about 14,500 feet, on Monday.

Karna said the bodies of 10 victims were flown to Kathmandu on Monday and the remaining 12 bodies would be flown to the capital on Tuesday and released to the families after autopsy and identification.

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The Nepalese government has formed a five-member committee to determine the cause of the collapse and propose preventive measures for the aviation sector.

Nepal, home to eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, has a history of air accidents.

In early 2018, an American Bangladesh Airlines flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu crashed on landing and caught fire, killing 51 of the 71 people on board.

In 1992, all 167 people on board a PIA plane were killed when it crashed into a hill while trying to land in Kathmandu.

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