Rescuers on Tuesday recovered the last body from the wreckage site of the Tara Air plane that crashed in Nepal’s mountainous Mustang district on Sunday, confirming the death of all 22 people on board, including four Indians.
After Sunday’s late evening halt, Authorities in Nepal resumed their search operation on Monday morning and retrieved 21 bodies before calling off the rescue operation for the day.
On Tuesday morning, according to the local reports, the rescuers reached the wreckage site again to retrieve the last body from the wreckage site of the turboprop Twin Otter 9N-AET plane that crashed in the mountainous Mustang district amidst bad weather.
“The last dead body has been recovered. Arranging to bring the remaining 12 dead bodies from the crash site to Kathmandu,” Nepal Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Narayan Silwal tweeted.
“With the recovery of one more body by the search and rescue team today (Tuesday) morning, all 22 bodies have been collected from the accident site,” said Deochandra Lal Karna, spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
Tara Airlines has identified the four Indians as Ashok Kumar Tripathy, his wife Vaibhavi Bandekar (Tripathy) and their children Dhanush and Ritika. The family was based in Thane city near Mumbai.
Local media reported that ten bodies have already been brought to Kathmandu on Monday and are awaiting postmortem at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj.
On Sunday morning, Tara Air’s 9 NAET twin-engine aircraft carrying 22 passengers, including 4 Indians and 2 German nationals, flying from Pokhara to Jomsom at 9:55 am, had lost contact, after reaching the Lete area of Mustang, said the Airport authorities.
The airplane was later confirmed crashed.
Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba have condoled the death of crew members and passengers in the plane crash.
The government has formed a five-member commission of inquiry headed by senior aeronautical engineer Ratish Chandra Lal Suman to find out the cause of the Tara Air plane crash.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the aircraft had crashed into the mountains after it swerved to the right, instead of turning to the left due to inclement weather, CAAN Director-General Pradeep Adhikari said during a meeting of the International Committee of the Parliament on Monday.
On Monday, the CAAN in a statement said that the plane had crashed at Thasang-2 in Mustang district at the height of 14,500 feet.
(With inputs from media reports)