Death toll rises to 70 in Nepal plane crash

Kathmandu: Nepalese authorities started handing over to family members the bodies of those killed after Yeti Airlines’ aircraft with 72 people, including five Indians, crashed in a river gorge in the resort city of Pokhara, as the death toll rose to 70.

Two more persons are still missing and the search operation is continuing, according to the Nepal Army sources.

The Yeti Airlines aircraft took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am on January 15 and crashed on the bank of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport in Pokhara, minutes before landing.

Fifty-three Nepalese passengers and 15 foreign nationals, including 5 Indians, and four crew members were on board the Yeti Airlines aircraft when it crashed.

Both the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder have been recovered as search and rescue teams rappelled down a 300-metre gorge to continue their efforts.

The boxes were handed over to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). The boxes could offer vital clues about the crash. Experts from France’s accident investigation agency are in Nepal to help authorities to probe the accident, Radio France Internationale reported. The crashed twin-propeller plane was made by France-based aircraft manufacturer ATR.

The accident was the third-deadliest crash in the Himalayan nation’s history, according to data from the Aviation Safety Network.

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