The deadly Yeti Airlines crash highlights the dangers of flying in Nepal



CNN

Following this, search and rescue operations are underway in Nepal Fatal plane crash This again highlights the dangers of air travel in a country.

Of the 72 people on board, at least 69 were killed and their bodies were later recovered Yeti Airlines The plane crashed near Pokhara city on Sunday.

Hundreds of emergency personnel were involved in the search and rescue operation on Monday, which was suspended and will resume on Tuesday morning, Nepal Army spokesman Krishna Prasad Bhandari said.

Kaski District Superintendent of Police Ajay KC said earlier on Monday that the chance of finding survivors was “extremely low” as workers pulled bodies from the gorge using a crane.

The airline said 41 victims have now been identified. Their bodies will be handed over to their families, airline officials and local police said.

Post-mortem examinations were delayed as a team of forensic experts did not reach Pokhara till Monday afternoon local time.

According to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, two South Korean nationals are believed to be among those killed in the crash.

The bodies, believed to be foreigners, will be taken to Kathmandu where necessary tests will be carried out to identify them, Nepalese officials said.

It was the Himalayan country’s worst air crash in 30 years. According to data from the Aviation Safety Network, it is the third worst air crash in Nepal’s history.

Experts say conditions like bad weather, low visibility and hilly terrain all make Nepal’s reputation too dangerous for air travel.

The Eti Airlines flight was completing its short journey from the capital Kathmandu to Pokhara on Sunday when it lost contact with the control tower. According to the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, around 15 foreigners were on board.

According to an Eti Airlines spokesperson, the pilot of the downed plane lost her husband – the co-pilot of the same plane – in a similar crash in 2006.

Anju Khadiwada had decided to become a pilot after her husband Deepak Pokhrel’s death and used the insurance money to travel to the US for her training, Sudarsan Bardaula told CNN. He has been with the airline since 2010 and has more than 6,300 hours of flying experience.

“She was a brave woman of all courage and determination. She left us too soon,” he said.

Khatiwada was a captain and was flying with an instructor pilot for additional training at the time of the accident, Bardaula added.

The lakeside city of Pokhara is a popular tourist destination and gateway to the Himalayas. It serves as the starting point of the famous Annapurna Circuit trek which was visited by more than 181,000 foreigners in 2019.

A government team with the help of French authorities is now investigating the cause of the crash. The Eti Airlines plane is manufactured by ATR, an aerospace company headquartered in France.

The black box that records the flight’s data will be recovered on Monday and handed over to the Civil Aviation Authority, officials said.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said that all ATR-42 and ATR-47 aircraft in the country were inspected following the Eti Airlines crash and no mechanical problems were found.

Unstable weather patterns are not the only problem for flight operations. A step 2019 Security Report According to Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority, the country’s “hostile terrain” is part of the “big challenge” facing pilots.

Nepal, a country of 29 million people, has eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest, and its beautiful rugged landscapes make it a popular tourist destination for trekkers.

But this terrain can be difficult to navigate from the air, especially during bad weather, and matters are made worse by the need to use small aircraft to access remote and mountainous parts of the country.

These challenges make aircraft with 19 seats or less more likely to crash, the Civil Aviation Authority report said.

Kathmandu is Nepal’s primary transport hub and many of these small flights depart from there.

The airport in the city of Lukla in northeastern Nepal is often referred to as the The most dangerous airport in the world. Known as the gateway to Everest, the airport’s runway is set on a cliff between the mountains and eventually drops straight into a chasm. It has witnessed several fatal accidents over the years including 2008 and 2019.

Lack of investment in aging aircraft only adds to the risks of flying.

In 2015, the International Civil Aviation Organization, United Nations, Priority was given to helping Nepal Through its Air Defense Enforcement Assistance Partnership. Two years later, ICAO and Nepal announced a partnership to address security concerns.

Although the country has made improvements in its safety standards in recent years, challenges remain.

In May 2022, Tara Air took off from Pokhara Hit a hill22 people were killed.

In early 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines flight from Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka to Kathmandu Crashed on landing And a fire broke out, killing 51 of the 71 people on board.

And in 2016, a Tara Air flight crumbled Sunday when the missing plane was flying the same route. The incident involved a recently purchased twin Otter aircraft flying in clear conditions.

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