Print Edition - 2016-02-25 | News
All 23 on board die in Tara Air plane crash
-, Dana (Myagdi)
Feb 25, 2016-
The wreckage of a Tara Air Twin Otter, which had gone missing minutes after taking off from Pokhara on Wednesday morning, was found in Solighopte in Dana VDC of Myagdi district in the afternoon. All 23 people on board were killed.
The turboprop aircraft, which was on a 20-minute scheduled flight to Jomsom, a popular trekking destination, had lost contact with air traffic controller 10 minutes after take-off.
The plane, with registration 9N-AHH, had taken off at 7:50am. It was found crashed at around 1:30pm. Nepal Army had deployed a helicopter and soldiers on foot to search the aircraft immediately after the plane was reported missing.
Squads of the Army, the Armed Police Force and Nepal Police had reached the crash site on foot and started rescue operations at around 2pm. The joint team had plucked 17 bodies from the wreckage before halting the operations for the day due to bad weather.
“All 23 on board have been killed,” said Tara Airlines in a statement. Among the deceased, two were foreign nationals—one Chinese and one Kuwaiti. All others, including three crew members and two children, were Nepali nationals. NA Spokesperson Brig General Tara Bahadur Karki said it was tough to continue the operations due to difficult terrain and bad weather.
The crash site is 13,000 feet above the sea level and is around 100 kilometres from Pokhara. Security forces have set up a camp in the Ghasa area of the district. It is not possible for a chopper to land at the crash site. Six bodies are yet to be traced.
“We will try to collect all the bodies by tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon,” said DSP Bishwo Khadka, chief of district police in Myagdi.
Captain Roshan Manandhar, the senior most pilot with the airline, had flown the brand
new plane from Canada to Nepal to add to Tara Air’s fleet in September 26 last year.
Manandhar, 55, had logged more than 21,000 hours of flying experience in Nepal.
A resident of Dallu, Manandhar was associated with Tara Air for the last 21 years. He was associated with Nepal Airlines before joining Tara. Captain Dikesh Nemkul, 25, a resident of Patan Dhoka, had started his flying carrier from Tara Air.
- Roshan Manandhar, captain
- Dikesh Nemkul, co-pilot
- Roma Raut, air hostess
Source: Tara Airlines
Aviation disasters in recent past
- Feb 16, ’14: A Nepal Airlines Twin Otter crashes in Masinelek of Arghakhanchi; 18 killed
- May 14, ’12: An Agni Air plane carrying Indian pilgrims crashes near Jomsom airport; 15 killed, six miraculously survive
- Sept 28, ’12: A Sita Air mountain flight plane comes down in flames on the bank of the Manohara river in Kathmandu; 19 killed Sept 25, ’11: A Buddha Air mountain flight plane crashes into a hillside near Kathmandu; 19 killed
- Oct 18, ’11: All six people on board die when a military plane crashes after taking off from Nepalgunj
- Aug 24, ’10: An Agni Air plane crashes in bad weather near Kathmandu; four Americans, a Japanese and a British national among 14 killed
- Dec 15, ’10: A Tara Air chartered flight crashes on the eastern face of Manedanda, Shreechaur-9, in Okhaldhunga; 22 killed
Published: 25-02-2016 08:37