Nepal plane crash: Black box found, hopes of finding survivors ‘nil’ | Top 10

Jan 16, 2023 12:19 PM IST

A 72-seater passenger aircraft operated by Yeti Airlines crashed in Nepal's Pokhara as the plane approached a newly built airport in the tourist town.

At least 66 people were confirmed dead in the plane crash in Nepal, the worst air crash in three decades in the small Himalayan nation. On Sunday evening, officials said they had retrieved the remains of 68 people onboard a 72-seater passengers aircraft operated by Yeti Airlines before they had to call off the search operation for the day. However, the death toll was revised down to 66 from Sunday’s 68 after a recount early Monday morning, said Tek Bahadur K.C., a senior administrative officer in Kaski district.

Rescue teams work to retrieve bodies from the wreckage at the crash site of an aircraft carrying 72 people in Pokhara in western Nepal January 15, 2023.(Reuters)
Rescue teams work to retrieve bodies from the wreckage at the crash site of an aircraft carrying 72 people in Pokhara in western Nepal January 15, 2023.(Reuters)

The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft was flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara, a tourist town located 200 kilometres west, when it crashed while attempting to land at a newly opened airport. (Nepal plane crash: 4 Indians killed were UP's Ghazipur residents; 1 shot video aboard)

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Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said that the plane was carrying 68 passengers including 15 foreign nationals, as well as four crew members. The foreigners included five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France. Of the five Indians, four were from the Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh and went to Nepal on January 13 on a holiday.

Here are the latest updates from the Nepal plane crash:

  1. On Monday morning, rescuers found the black boxes - a cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder - data from which could prove significant in determining the cause of the accident.
  2. An official said that the hopes of finding survivors in the plane crash are nil, reported AFP.
  3. At least one witness reported hearing cries for help from within the fiery wreck, reported Associated Press. Bishnu Tiwari, a local who rushed to the crash site to help search for bodies, said the rescue efforts were hampered by thick smoke and a raging fire.
  4. “The flames were so hot that we couldn’t go near the wreckage. I heard a man crying for help, but because of the flames and smoke we couldn’t help him,” Tiwari said.
  5. Another witness said he saw the plane spinning violently in the air as it approached the airport for landing. Watching from the terrace of his house, the witness saw the plane fell nose-first towards its left and crashed into the gorge.
  6. One of the Indians who died in the crash was possibly on Facebook Live seconds before the crash. A 1-minute 37-second video went viral late on Sunday in which the man can be seen holding the phone pointing the camera out from a window seat, showing an approach. At one point, the shot becomes unstable and the vision blacks out before the final moments showing what appeared to flame with some vegetation close by.
  7. The Indians on board were identified as Sonu Jaiswal (35), Anil Kumar Rajbhar (27), Abhishek Kushwaha (27), Vishal Sharma (22) — all friends and residents of Ghazipur — and Sanjay Jaiswal (26) from Bihar’s Sitamarhi. Police said Sonu Jaiswal was possibly on Facebook Live seconds before the crash.
  8. Yeti Airlines, meanwhile, has cancelled the regular flights on Monday to mourn the passengers who lost their lives in the plane crash.
  9. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has set up a panel to investigate the accident and it is expected to report within 45 days. France's air accident investigation agency BEA said it would participate in the probe into the causes of the crash and coordinate with all other parties involved.
  10. Nepal has a history of plane crashes and the European Union has banned Nepali airlines from its airspace since 2013, citing safety concerns.

(Compiled with inputs from ANI, Reuters, AP, AFP and HT Bureau)

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