Kathmandu: Rescuers on Monday pulled out 14 bodies from the wreckage of the Tara Airlines plane that crashed in Nepal’s mountainous Mustang district on Sunday with 22 people on board, including four Indians, and there were slim chances of finding any survivors, according to media reports.
The turboprop Twin Otter 9N-AET plane had four Indian nationals, two Germans, and 13 Nepali passengers besides a three-member Nepali crew.
Pieces of the wreckage of the passenger plane that crashed on Sunday morning were found at 14,500ft in Sano Sware Bhir of Thalang in Mustang district in northwestern Nepal, after nearly 20 hours since the plane went missing, the Nepal Army said on Monday.
“The search and rescue troops have physically located the plane crash site. Details will be followed,” Nepal Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Narayan Silwal said on Twitter.
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“Crash site: Sanosware, Thalang-2, Mustang,” he tweeted along with a picture of what appears to be the wreckage of the aircraft.
Lt Mangal Shrestha, a police inspector, and a guide have already reached the site, he said.
”Other rescue team members from different agencies are trying to reach the sites using small helicopters. Every possible means to reach the site is being considered,” Brig Gen. Silwal said.
The airline issued the list of passengers which identified four Indians as Ashok Kumar Tripathy, his wife Vaibhavi Bandekar (Tripathy), and their children Dhanush and Ritika. The family was based in Thane city near Mumbai.
The plane took off at 9:55 am from Pokhara and lost contact with air control about 12 minutes later at 10:07 am, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.
The search and rescue team reached the crash site on Monday morning.
Sudarshan Bartaula, a spokesperson of Tara Air, said that the bodies of 14 people have been found.
“As the bodies have been scattered over a 100-meter radius from the main impact point, the search and rescue team is collecting them,” he told the newspaper.
The plane slammed into the mountain breaking into pieces, said Bartaula.
“The impact has blown the bodies all over the hill,” he said.
The photo posted on the social media site shows the tail and one wing of the aircraft remain intact.
The helicopter dropped three rescuers—from Nepal Army, Nepal Police, and a high altitude rescue guide—early in the morning.
As the area can accommodate only one chopper at the crash site, it is shuttling the rescuers, said Bartaula.
The search was suspended on Sunday because of bad weather and failing light.
Inda Singh of Dana, who reached the crash site, said the plane was found in a damaged condition, the Republica newspaper reported.
Singh said there was no fire on the aircraft. The aircraft could have met with an accident after hitting a cliff nearby. Although the bodies are intact no one is likely to be found alive, he said.
“This is probably because the fire did not start. The dead bodies are intact and the faces of all victims are recognizable,” he said.