January 31, 2023

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Plane crash in Nepal: At least 29 dead, few survivors

An Eti Airlines flight with 72 people on board crashed in Nepal on Sunday, and initial reports listed at least 29 dead and some survivors, an official said.

Eti Airlines spokesman Sudarsan Bardaula said, “There were 68 passengers and four crew members on board… Help is on the way. Among the passengers are three infants and three children. The flight documents list 11 foreigners: five Indians, four Russians, two Koreans, one Irish, one Argentine and one Officials said he was French.

The plane, which took off from Kathmandu at 10:33 am (5:33 am France time), crashed in Nepal, about 200 km from the Nepali capital, between the old and new airports of Pokhara in the center of the country. In the valleys of the river Seti. The aircraft contacted the control tower at 10:50 am before disappearing from radar. Emergency services were called at 11am.

The plane broke into pieces

Local official Gurudutta Tagal said the cabin caught fire. “Rescue services have already arrived at the site and are trying to put out the fire,” he added, noting that they were “first focusing on extinguishing the fire and rescuing the passengers.” Pictures posted on social networks show dozens of people on site to help with the rescue.

36 bodies have already been recovered India Today. According to army spokesman Krishna Bhandari, contacted by Reuters, the aircraft was “broken into pieces”. Nepali Police Assistant Sub-Inspector Rudra Thapa confirmed to the Kathmandu Post that 25 bodies have been taken to various hospitals in Pokhara for post-mortem.

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According to flight tracking site FlightRadar, the plane is 15 years old. The ATR72 is a popular twin-engine turboprop aircraft manufactured by a company owned by Airbus and the Italian company Leonardo. Eti Airlines has six ATR72-500 aircraft, according to its website.

In a video posted on social networks, we see his return while losing altitude.

Nepal’s aviation industry has grown in recent years, transporting goods and people to difficult locations, as well as tourists for trekking and trekking. But safety suffered from inadequate training and maintenance. The European Union has banned Nepali flights from its airspace since 2013 due to security concerns.

One of the toughest tracks in the world

The Himalayan country has some of the world’s most remote and tricky tracks, surrounded by snow-capped peaks that challenge even experienced pilots to access. In this mountainous country – eight of the fourteen highest peaks in the world – the weather can change suddenly, making flying conditions dangerous. Airline operators say Nepal lacks the infrastructure to make accurate weather forecasts, especially in remote areas.

At least 309 people have died in plane or helicopter crashes since 2000. In May 2022, all 22 people on board a flight operated by Nepalese company Tara Air – 16 Nepalis, four Indians and two Germans – died in a plane crash. Air traffic control lost contact with the twin-propeller plane shortly after it took off from Pokhara towards the popular trekking destination of Jomsom. Its wreckage was found a day later, on the side of a mountain at an altitude of about 4,400 meters. About 60 people participated in the search, most of whom walked miles to get there.

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After the accident, authorities have tightened regulations, specifically allowing flights to fly only if the weather forecast is favorable throughout the journey.

In March 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines flight crashed near Kathmandu’s most difficult-to-access airport, killing 51 people. It was the worst crash in Nepal since 1992 when a Pakistan International Airlines flight killed all 167 people on approach to Kathmandu.