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Plane crash in Nepal, 21 bodies located

A tragic accident on Sunday saw an airplane carrying 22 people come down over the Mustang district as it arrived from the tourist hotspot of Pokhara.

Update:
Nepalese aircraft crash
BISHAL MAGARGetty

The wreckage of a plane has been located in the Mustang district of Nepal after the aircraft crashed on Sunday. The small plane was carrying 22 people, 21 of whom are now confirmed dead, when it lost contact with air traffic control on a short 20-minute flight.

The aircraft, a DHC-6-300 Twin Otter, was made by Canadian aircraft firm De Havilland and was operated by Nepali carrier Tara Air. It departed from the tourist hotspot of Pokhara at around 10am local time on Sunday morning and had been headed for the popular pilgrimage site of Jomsom.

Recovery efforts underway to retrieve bodies

The plane was carrying 16 Nepalis, four Indians and two Germans when it crashed into the Himalayan mountainside. Nepalese soldiers and rescue workers confirmed that they had successfully retrieved 20 bodies from the crash site, although the geography of the area had made that effort very difficult.

The wreckage was scattered across a steep slope at an altitude of roughly 14,500 feet. Local officials have confirmed that another body has been located in the area but rescue workers have not yet been able to reach it. One passenger is still unaccounted for.

“We have found 20 dead bodies, the body of an additional person has been located and rescuers are trying to retrieve it from difficult mountain terrain,” said, Deo Chandra Lal Karn, Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority spokesman.

Rescuers are still searching for a missing individual at the crash site,” he added.

Poor weather and mountainous terrain makes plane crashes common in Nepal

In the aftermath of the tragic events, Nepalese authorities announced that they had formed a panel to investigate the course of the crash. However the extreme weather conditions and mountainous terrain have made such incidents fairly common.

Nepal has become something of a tourist destination in recent decades but with little flat land on which to build airstrips pilots are left with little margin for error.

In April 2019 three people were killed when a plane careered off the runway at Lukla Airport, hitting a stationary helicopter. The year before 51 people perished when a US-Bangla flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh caught fire upon arrival in Kathmandu.

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