Mon, 06 February 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Black box and voice recorder retrieved from Nepal crash site

Update : 16 Jan 2023, 17:26

It remains unclear what caused the flight to crash Sunday, Nepal's worst aviation disaster since 1992.

Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority on Monday said the flight data and cockpit voice recorders from the Yeti Airlines plane that crashed in Pokhara had been recovered.

The plane was en route from Kathmandu and went down on approach to a newly opened airport in the tourist town of Pokhara on Sunday, killing at least 68 of the 72 people aboard.

The data on the recorders may help investigators determine what caused the country's deadliest airplane accident in three decades.

Both recorders were in good shape and would be sent for analysis based on the recommendation of the manufacturer of the ATR 72 aircraft, Teknath Sitaula, an official at the Kathmandu airport said.

Rescuers were still busy with recovery operations on Monday.

The aircraft went down in a gorge near the Seti River, nearly one mile (1.6 kilometers) from Pokhara International Airport.

"We have collected 68 bodies so far. We are searching for four more bodies. We should continue until we get the bodies," a senior local official, Tek Bahadur KC, said.

"We pray for a miracle. But, the hope of finding anyone alive is nil," he said.

Debris from the airliner was strewn across the crash site, including the mangled remains of passenger seats and the plane's white-colored fuselage.

Nepal declared a day of national mourning on Monday and set up a panel to investigate the disaster.

Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority said there were 15 foreigners on board, five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina, and France. The rest were Nepalis.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Pokhara Academy of Health and Science, Western Hospital, where the bodies were being kept.

Gyan Khadka, a police spokesperson in the district, said 31 bodies have been identified and will be handed over to family after officials finish post-mortem reports.

The bodies of foreigners and those unrecognizable will be sent to Kathmandu for further investigation.

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