Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Searchers find black boxes of aircraft in deadly Nepal crash

Nepal also has some of the world's most remote and trickiest runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with approaches that pose a challenge for even accomplished pilots

Update : 16 Jan 2023, 03:50 PM

Searchers on Monday found both the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from a passenger flight that crashed killing at least 68 people in Nepal's worst plane accident in 30 years, officials said.

The data on the recorders may help investigators determine what caused the Yeti Airlines ATR 72 aircraft, carrying 72 people, to crash in clear weather on Sunday just before landing in the tourist city of Pokhara.

Both recorders were in good shape and would be sent for analysis based on the recommendation of the manufacturer, Teknath Sitaula, an official at Kathmandu airport, told Reuters on Monday.

Rescuers were battling cloudy weather and poor visibility as they scoured a river gorge for passengers who are unaccounted for, more than 24 hours after the crash. Sixty-eight bodies have been recovered

Reuters footage from the crash site showed rescuers looking at the charred remains of the plane near the gorge.

The plane, on a scheduled flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, gateway to the scenic Annapurna mountain range, was carrying 57 Nepalis, five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one person each from Argentina, Ireland, Australia and France.

Pokhara police official Ajay K C said the search-and-rescue operation, which stopped because of darkness on Sunday, had resumed.

"We will search for the remaining four that are still missing,” he told Reuters. "It is cloudy now... causing a problem in the search."

The other 63 bodies had been sent to a hospital, he said. A spokesperson for Pokhara airport also said that the weather was hampering rescue efforts, but that clouds were expected to clear later in the day.

Minutes before the aircraft was to land on Sunday, the pilot asked for a change of runway, a spokesperson for Pokhara airport told Reuters on Monday.

"The permission was granted. "We don't ask (why), whenever a pilot asks we give permission to change approach," the spokesperson, Anup Joshi, said.

Sunday's crash underlined the need for the government to split up the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), which both regulates airlines and manages airports.

"The government must immediately separate the regulatory body and service provider by splitting the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) which is doing both works now," K B Limbu, an aviation expert and a retired pilot, told Reuters.

Asked for comment, Sitaula, the Kathmandu airport official, denied that there was any conflict of interest in the functioning of CAAN.

There are nine domestic airlines in Nepal, including Yeti Airlines and its unit Tara Air. Yeti and Tara plane crashes have killed at least 165 people in Nepal since 2000 out of a total of 359, according to data from CAAN.

Top Brokers


Popular Links