At least 67 dead in Nepal’s worst plane crash in 30 years

At least 67 dead in Nepal’s worst plane crash in 30 years

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INTERNATIONAL – This is the deadliest air disaster to hit Nepal in 30 years. At least 67 people died in a plane crash on Sunday. According to authorities, 72 people were on board the twin-engine turboprop plane, which crashed into a steep ravine and shattered into numerous pieces before catching fire. Five of them are still missing. More specifically, 68 passengers were on board, including six children and the four crew members.

This Yeti Airlines ATR 72 from Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, crashed just before 11 a.m. (local time) near Pokhara Airport in central Nepal, where it was due to land.

The body of the burner was found at the bottom of a 300 meter deep ravine. as you can see in the video at the top of the article. The site of the crash lies between the old Pokhara Airport, established in 1958, and the new international terminal, which opened on January 1 in this city, which is a gateway for pilgrims and trekkers from all over the world.

In the evening, amid the charred vegetation, soldiers used ropes and stretchers to pull bodies from the ATR’s scattered wreckage, an AFP journalist noted.

growth in air traffic

Rescuers rushed to the site to put out several raging fires that were billowing with thick black smoke. It is the deadliest air disaster in Nepal in three decades.

In 1992, 167 people died aboard a Pakistan International Airlines plane in a crash on approach to Kathmandu. Two months earlier, a Thai Airways accident near the same airport killed 113 people.

Nepal’s air transport sector has boomed in recent years, with planes ferrying goods and people to hard-to-reach areas, as well as trekkers and foreign mountaineers. But it suffered from inadequate pilot training and maintenance.

The European Union has banned all Nepalese airlines from accessing its airspace for safety reasons.

Lonely slopes and changeable weather

Nepal also has some of the most remote and tricky trails in the world, flanked by snow-capped peaks that challenge even experienced pilots.

Airplane operators say Nepal lacks the infrastructure to produce accurate weather forecasts, particularly in remote areas with rugged mountainous terrain, which have seen deadly crashes in the past. Even in the mountains, the weather changes quickly, making for even more challenging flight conditions.

In May 2022, the 22 people on board a twin-engine Twin Otter belonging to the Nepalese company Tara Air – 16 Nepalese, four Indians and two Germans – died when the plane crashed shortly after take-off from Pokhara. His wreck was found a day later on a mountainside at an altitude of about 4,400 meters.

After this tragedy, authorities tightened regulations, notably that the planes are only allowed to fly when the weather forecast is favorable throughout the trip.

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