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‘Nil’ hope of survivors from Nepal plane crash

Official says all 72 passengers and crew on the Yeti Airlines flight are feared dead.



A mobile phone recovered from the crash site reportedly contains video recorded just before plane went down

Prakash Mathema/Getty Images

Rescue workers have given up hope of finding any survivors from Nepal’s deadliest plane crash in decades, according to officials. 

The Yeti Airlines flight was carrying 72 passengers and crew from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu to the “tourist city” of Pokhara on Sunday in “clear weather” when it crashed into a river gorge and caught fire just seconds before the scheduled landing, The India Expressreported. Local official Tek Bahadur said today that 68 bodies had been found and that there was “nil” chance of any survivors.

Teknath Sitaula, a Kathmandu Airport official, said the black box and cockpit flight recorder from the plane had also been recovered and were in “a good condition”.

Investigators had yet to determine the cause of the crash,  but an airport spokesperson told the BBC that the pilot did not report “anything untoward” as the plane approached the airport and that there had been “no issue” with the weather or visibility.

A mobile phone was also recovered from the crash site that “apparently contains video recorded by a passenger on their mobile phone moments before impact”, said The Times. The video was passed to Abhishek Pratap Shah, a former Nepali MP, who told Indian news channelNDTV that the footage was shared with him by a “friend” who “received it from police personnel”.

The Times reported that the “distressing” video “shows the last moments before the plane crashed as one member of the group filmed live on Facebook”.

The plane was carrying 57 Nepalis, five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one person each from Argentina, Ireland, Australia and France.

The crew included co-pilot Anju Khatiwada, who had lost her husband, also a Yeti Airlines pilot, in a plane crash in 2006. A spokesperson for the domestic carrier told Reuters that Khatiwada “got her pilot training with the money she got from the insurance after her husband’s death”.

According to Sky News, since 2000 nearly 350 people have died in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal, “where sudden weather changes can make for hazardous conditions”.

The Week

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