Search resumes as deadly plane crash highlights dangers of flying in Nepal

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Hundreds of emergency workers resumed a search and recovery mission in Nepal on Monday after a deadly plane crash that once again highlighted the dangers of air travel in a country often cited as one of the riskiest places to fly. Of the 72 people on board, at least 69 have died and their bodies have been recovered after a Yeti Airlines flight crashed near the city of Pokhara on Sunday. The search for three others who remain missing continues, but Kaski district police chief Ajay KC said on Monday that the chance of finding survivors was “very low” as workers used a crane to pull the bodies out of the gorge. Forty-one victims have now been identified, according to the airline. According to representatives of the airline and local police, their remains will be handed over to their family members. The autopsy was delayed because the forensic team did not arrive in Pokhara until Monday afternoon local time. The crash is the nation’s worst Himalayan air crash in 30 years. It is also the third worst aviation accident in Nepal’s history, according to the Aviation Safety Network. Experts say conditions such as poor weather, poor visibility and mountainous terrain contribute to Nepal’s reputation as notoriously dangerous for aviation. Sunday’s Yeti Airlines flight had almost completed its short journey from the capital Kathmandu to Pokhara when it lost contact with the control tower. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the country, there were about 15 foreign citizens on board. The pilot of the downed plane lost her husband – the co-pilot of the same airline – in a similar crash in 2006, according to Yeti Airlines spokeswoman Anju Hativad decided to become a pilot after the death of her husband Deepak Pokhrel and used insurance money to travel to the US for training, CNN reported Sudarshan Bartaula. She had been with the airline since 2010 and had more than 6,300 hours of flight experience. “She was a brave woman with all courage and determination. She left us too soon,” he said. Hativada was the captain and was flying with an instructor pilot for additional training at the time of the crash, Bartaula added. Pokhara, a lakeside city, is a popular tourist destination and gateway to the Himalayas. It is the starting point of the famous Annapurna Circuit trekking route and was visited by more than 181,000 foreigners in 2019. Now a government committee with the help of the French authorities is investigating the causes of the disaster. The Yeti Airlines aircraft was manufactured by ATR Aerospace, headquartered in France. The plane’s black box, which records flight data, was recovered on Monday and will be handed over to the civil aviation authority, officials said. this is not the only problem for flight operations. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal’s 2019 safety report, the country’s “hostile terrain” is also part of the “big challenge” facing pilots. Nepal, a country of 29 million people, is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest, and its beautiful, rugged landscapes make it a popular tourist destination for tourists. But the area can be difficult to navigate from the air, especially during bad weather, and the situation is exacerbated by the need to use small aircraft to access remote and mountainous parts of the country. Airplanes with 19 seats or fewer are more likely to crash because of these problems, according to a report by the Civil Aviation Authority. Kathmandu is Nepal’s main transit hub from where many of these smaller flights depart. The airport in the city of Lukla, in the north-east of Nepal, is often called the most dangerous airport in the world. The airport’s runway, known as the Gateway to Everest, runs along the cliff between the mountains, and at the end it drops straight into the abyss. There have been several fatal crashes over the years, including in 2008 and 2019. Lack of investment in aging aircraft only increases the risk of flying. In 2015, the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the United Nations, prioritized assistance to Nepal through its Aviation Security Implementation Assistance Partnership. Two years later, ICAO and Nepal announced cooperation to address security issues. Although the country has improved safety standards in recent years, problems remain. In May 2022, a Tara Air flight departing from Pokhara crashed into a mountain, killing 22 people. In early 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines flight from the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka to Kathmandu crashed on landing and caught fire, killing 51 of the 71 people on board. And in 2016, a Tara Air flight crashed while following the same route as the plane that went missing on Sunday. This incident involved a recently purchased Twin Otter aircraft that was flown in clean conditions.

Hundreds of emergency workers resumed a search and recovery mission in Nepal on Monday after a deadly plane crash that once again highlighted the dangers of air travel in a country often described as one of the most dangerous places to fly.

Of the 72 people on board, at least 69 have died and their bodies have been recovered after a Yeti Airlines flight crashed near the city of Pokhara on Sunday.

The search continues for three others who remain missing, but Kaski district police chief Ajay Kay said on Monday that the chances of finding survivors were “very low” as workers used a crane to pull the bodies out of the gorge.

According to the airline, 41 victims have now been identified. According to representatives of the airline and local police, their remains will be handed over to their family members.

The autopsy was delayed because the forensic team did not arrive in Pokhara until Monday afternoon local time.

This disaster was the biggest air disaster in the Himalayan country in the last 30 years. It is also the third worst aviation accident in Nepal’s history, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

Experts say conditions such as poor weather, low visibility and mountainous terrain contribute to Nepal’s reputation as notoriously dangerous for aviation.

A Yeti Airlines plane had almost completed its short journey from the capital Kathmandu to Pokhara on Sunday when it lost contact with the control tower. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the country, there were about 15 foreign citizens on board.

According to a representative of Yeti Airlines, the pilot of the downed plane lost her husband – the co-pilot of the same airline – in a similar crash in 2006.

Anju Hathivada decided to become a pilot after the death of her husband Deepak Pokhrel and used her insurance money to travel to the US for training, Sudarshan Bartaula told CNN. She had been with the airline since 2010 and had more than 6,300 hours of flight experience.

“She was a brave woman with all courage and determination. She left us too soon,” he said.

Hativada was the captain and was flying with an instructor pilot for additional training at the time of the crash, Bartaula added.

Pokhara, a lakeside city, is a popular tourist destination and gateway to the Himalayas. It is the starting point of the famous Annapurna Circuit trekking route, which was visited by more than 181,000 foreigners in 2019.

Now a government committee with the help of the French authorities is investigating the causes of the disaster. The Yeti Airlines aircraft was manufactured by ATR Aerospace, headquartered in France.

The plane’s black box, which records flight data, was recovered on Monday and will be handed over to the Civil Aviation Authority, officials said.

“Enemy Topography”

Unstable weather is not the only problem for flying. According to A Safety Report 2019 from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the country’s “hostile topography” is also part of the “big challenge” facing pilots.

Nepal, a country of 29 million people, is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest, and its beautiful, rugged landscapes make it a popular tourist destination for tourists.

But the area can be difficult to navigate from the air, especially during bad weather, and the situation is exacerbated by the need to use small aircraft to access more remote and mountainous areas of the country.

A report by the Civil Aviation Authority says that planes with 19 seats or fewer are more likely to crash because of these problems.

Kathmandu is Nepal’s main transit hub from where many of these smaller flights depart.

The airport in the city of Lukla in northeastern Nepal is often called the most dangerous airport in the world. The runway of the airport, known as the gateway to Everest, lies on the slope of the rock between the mountains, at the end of which it falls directly into the abyss. There have been several fatal accidents over the years, including in 2008 and 2019.

Lack of investment in aging aircraft only increases the risk of flying.

In 2015, the International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN agency, aid to Nepal was a priority through the Flight Safety Assistance Partnership. Two years later, ICAO and Nepal announced cooperation to address security issues.

Although the country has improved safety standards in recent years, problems remain.

In May 2022, a Tara Air flight departing from Pokhara crashed into a mountain, killing 22 people.

In early 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines flight from the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka to Kathmandu crashed on approach and caught fire, killing 51 of the 71 people on board.

And in 2016, a Tara Air plane crashed while flying the same route as the plane that died on Sunday. In this incident, a recently purchased Twin Otter aircraft was flown in clean conditions.

Search resumes as deadly plane crash highlights dangers of flying in Nepal

Source link Search resumes as deadly plane crash highlights dangers of flying in Nepal