'We have already re-visited the scene of the accident. Now we are conducting interviews of the injured people and eyewitnesses, collecting evidence, and contacting the airlines personnel'
The investigation committee formed by the Nepalese government to find the cause of the US-Bangla plane crash at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is yet to ascertain the main reason behind the accident.
On Thursday, four days after the tragedy, the joint secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal, Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane told the Dhaka Tribune that the cause of the accident would be clear within six months. He is also the member secretary of the six-member Nepalese investigation commission formed to probe the crash.
When asked about the latest development in the investigation, he said: “We have not identified the main reason. We will complete the investigation within six months. The reason behind the crash should be clear within that time-frame.”
He said: “We have already re-visited the scene of the accident. Now we are conducting interviews of the injured people and eyewitnesses, collecting evidence, and contacting the airlines personnel. The representative from the crashed aircraft’s manufacturer, Bombardier, and the investigation team from Bangladesh are also working with us.”
“We have taken the flight data recorder (Black Box) in our custody. We might take help from the US aviation authority as well as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in analyzing the data from the electronic recording device, with a view to determining what led to the crash.”
In response to a question about the Air Traffic Controller allegedly giving unclear directions to the pilot, Lamichhane said: “We are not yet sure about the actual reason, and I cannot comment on this. But we are investigating the accident from every possible angle.”
Post-mortem to be completed Friday
Meanwhile, talking with the Dhaka Tribune, Dr Pramod Shrestha, Head of Forensic Department of the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) said that they have completed post-mortem of 35 bodies till 07pm on Thursday. He said the post-mortem will most probably be completed on Friday.
He said: “Besides the post-mortem, we are conducting the toxicology test of the crew members, including flight captain and co-pilot, to determine whether they were under the influence of any poisons or toxins. We will have the report within a few days.”
When asked if the doctors found existence of toxins in the crews members’ bodies during the initial test Dr Pramod Shrestha said: “It is an international practice to conduct toxicology test on the victims of a plane crash. We are doing various histopathology examinations to find out whether the crew members suffered from any severe diseases or heart attack.”
At least 50 people, including 26 Bangladeshis, were killed when the US-Bangla Airlines aircraft crashed and burst into flames at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport on March 12.
The plane was carrying 71 people, including four cabin crews. Thirty-six passengers were from Bangladesh, 33 from Nepal and one each from China and the