23 passengers, including 2 foreigners, killed in Nepal air crash

24 Feb 2016    07:00 pm

A family member cries as he waits at the airport after a Twin Otter plane, operated by private Tara Air, crashed in bad weather, in Pokhara, Nepal. (REUTERS)

All 23 people on board a small plane were killed when it crashed into a forest in central Nepal on Wednesday, the country’s second air disaster in as many years.

The Twin Otter aircraft operated by the private Tara Air was reported missing at 8.10 am, 20 minutes after it took off from Pokhara, 200 km northwest of the capital Kathmandu.

The plane, bound for Jomsom in Mustang district bordering China, crashed into a hill in Myagdi district.

The dead included a Chinese and a Kuwaiti national, two infants and three crew members.

Authorities launched an operation to bring the bodies from the crash site at Tirkhe Dhunga to Pokhara. It takes four hours to trek to the crash site from the nearest village.

“It appears the aircraft broke into several pieces and burst into flames immediately after the crash. All the bodies are burnt beyond recognition,” Bishwa Raj Khadka, police chief of Myagdi, told the media.

The pilots last contacted Pokhara airport at 8.10 am, when there was no indication of anything wrong with the aircraft. According to a Tara Air statement, the weather at Pokhara and Jomsom was “favourable’.