Nepal recovers 14 bodies from site of plane crash

Nepali army finds wreckage of Tara Air plane a day after it went missing with 22 people on board.

Rescue workers in Nepal have recovered 14 bodies from the crash site of a small plane that went down with 22 people on board.

Deo Chandra Lal, a spokesman for Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority, told the AFP news agency on Monday that the search for the others was continuing.

“The weather is very bad but we were able to take a team to the crash site. No other flight has been possible,” he said.

There were 19 passengers and three crew members on board the Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Nepali carrier Tara Air, when it went missing on Sunday.

They included four Indians, two Germans, and 16 Nepalis, according to the airline and government officials.

The plane had taken off from the tourist town of Pokhara at 9:55 am (0410 GMT) on Sunday, and was bound for Jomsom, a popular pilgrimage site about 80 km (50 miles) to the northwest of Pokhara.

It was on a 20-minute scheduled flight, but lost contact with the airport tower close to landing in an area of deep river gorges and mountaintops.

Weather and darkness had halted the search overnight, but an army helicopter and private choppers resumed the search on Monday morning.

Narayan Silwan, a spokesperson for the army, later posted a picture on Twitter of the wreckage with the plane’s tail number visible and parts of the aircraft shown scattered on the edge of a mountain.

He identified the crash site as Sanosware in Thasang-2.

Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest, has a record of air accidents. Its weather can change suddenly and airstrips are typically located in mountainous areas that are hard to reach.

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