Nepal commemorates this Monday a day of national mourning after the air disaster of the Sunday in which they died at least 68 people in the worst catastrophe of its kind in the country in three decades.
The ship, an ATR 72 from the company Yeti Airlines from Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital, crashed with 72 people on board -68 passengers and four crew members- shortly before eleven in the morning local time (05:15 GMT) near Pokhara (downtown), where it should land.
the airship on fire was found in a precipice 300 meters deepbetween the old airport built in 1958 and the new international terminal inaugurated on January 1 in Pokhara, the gateway for walkers from all over the world.
Soldiers used ropes to retrieve bodies from the bottom of the ravine from late Sunday and early Monday.
“Because of the fog, the search has been interrupted. We will resume it in an hour or two, when the weather improves,” police officer AK Chhetri posted early Monday morning.
“31 (corpses) have been taken to hospitals,” he had told the AFP the earliest officer.
on board the plane there were 14 foreigners: five Indian citizens, four Russians, two Koreans, an Australian, an Irishman, a Frenchman and an Argentinean, said the airline’s speaker, Sudarshan Bardaula.
Three babies and three children were also on the plane, according to the statement from the Civil Aviation Authority.
After the accident, rescuers tried to put out the fire among the remains of the device, an ATR 72 powered by two turboprop engines.
like a bomb
A representative of the local authorities assured that “some survivors” were taken to the hospital, but this information was not confirmed by Yeti Airlines or by other officials.
In a statement dated in Toulouse, in southwestern France, ATR, the plane’s manufacturer, specified that it was a 72-500 modeladding that its specialists were “fully committed to supporting both the investigation and the client”, Yeti Airlines.
In a video shared on social networks whose authenticity AFP could not verify, a plane is seen flying low over a residential area before banking sharply to the left, after which a loud explosion is heard.
“I was walking when I heard a loud explosion, as if a bomb had exploded,” said Arun Tamu, 44, who he found some 500 meters from the impact site and a live video of the plane’s wreckage was broadcast on the networks. on fire
A history of plane crashes
Nepal’s aviation sector has grown a lot in recent years, both in the transport of goods and tourists.
However, due to lack of staff training and maintenance issues, companies often suffer from security issues. The European Union therefore prohibited all Nepalese carriers from entering its airspace.
the country of Himalayas it also boasts some of the most remote and challenging tracks in the world, flanked by snow-capped peaks that make approaching them to the sea a challenge even for experienced pilots.
The companies indicate that Nepal does not have the infrastructure to establish accurate weather forecasts, particularly in the most remote regions and with difficult mountainous relief, where fatal accidents have been recorded in recent years.
This Sunday is the deadliest accident in Nepal since 1992when all 167 people on board a Pakistan International Airlines plane died when it crashed near Kathmandu.
in May 2022the 22 people who traveled on board a plane of the Nepalese company Tara Air -16 Nepalese, four Indians and two Germans- died when the device crashed.
In March 201851 people died in the accident of a US-Bangla Airlines plane that crashed near the international airport of Kathmandu, of notorious difficulty.
(With information from AFP)
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