Nepal plane crash: No survivors with 22 bodies and black box found


The aircraft went down in the Himalayas, 15 minutes after taking off from tourist town Pokhara (Picture: AP)

There are no survivors after a plane carrying 22 people crashed in the Nepal mountains on Sunday.

The tragic announcement was made this afternoon after all bodies were recovered.

The cockpit voice recorder, known as the black box, has also been found in the wreckage in Sanosware, the Mustang district.

It followed 48 hours of dread for heartbroken families waiting for news at Kathmandu airport.

Rescuers confirmed last night they had found all but one person, and warned they did not expect to find them alive.

Speaking on Monday, Maniram Pokhrel, father of the plane’s co-pilot Utsav Pokhrel, 25, said with a choking voice in Kathmandu: ‘I am waiting for my son’s body.’

Four Indians, two Germans and 16 Nepali people were on board the plane.

Local news reports suggested this included two Nepali families – one with four members and the other with seven – and three Nepali crew members.

Nepals security personnel carry the bodies of victims of a crash of a Twin Otter aircraft operated by Tara Air that crashed earlier in the Himalayas with 22 people on board, brought to Kathmandu on an army helicopter at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on May 30, 2022. - Nepali rescuers have retrieved the bodies of all but one of 22 people on board a plane that crashed into a Himalayan mountainside over the weekend, the army said May 30. (Photo by Bikash Karki / AFP) (Photo by BIKASH KARKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Soldiers and rescue workers have now retrieved all 22 bodies from the wreckage (Picture: Bikash Karki/AFP via Getty Images)
Relatives have been waiting for the bodies to be returned to Kathmandu (Picture: AP)

The two Germans were a man and a woman from the western state of Hesse, German news agency dpa reports.

A spokesperson for the Hesse state interior ministry said: ‘On the part of the Hessian police, relatives have already been informed and care measures initiated.’

A picture of the wreckage released yesterday showed pieces of the plane scattered across rocks and moss on the side of a mountain gorge.

The 43-year-old Tara Air turboprop Twin Otter was only supposed to be in the air for 20 minutes as it flew from Pokhara to the mountain town of Jomsom.

According to tracking data from flightradar24.com, it took off from Pokhara at 9.55am and transmitted its last signal at 10.07am at an altitude of 12,825 feet.

Local villagers launched a search for it at the weekend, but were only able to reach the site on Monday morning after following the smell of fuel, according to the Setopati news website.

Production of The Twin Otter, a plane originally built by Canadian aircraft manufacturer De Havilland, initially ended in the 1980s.

But another Canadian company, Viking Air, brought the model back into production in 2010.

It is prized for its durability and its ability to take off and land on short runways.

This handout photograph released by Fishtail Air, shows the wreckage of a plane in a gorge in Sanosware in Mustang district close to the mountain town of Jomsom, west of Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, May 30, 2022. The wreckage of a plane carrying 22 people that disappeared in Nepal's mountains was found Monday scattered on a mountainside, the army said. There was no word on survivors. (Fishtail Air via AP)

Parts of the plane were discovered in a gorge in Sanosware in the Mustang district (Picture: AP)
The tragedy happened on Sunday morning (Picture: Reuters)

Nepal, which boasts some of the world’s highest mountains including the famed Everest, has a history of aviation accidents.

In 2016, a Tara Air Twin Otter flying the same route crashed after take-off, killing all 23 people aboard.

In 2012, an Agni Air plane also flying from Pokhara to Jomsom crashed, killing 15 people. Six people survived.

In 2014, a Nepal Airlines plane flying from Pokhara to Jumla crashed, killing all 18 onboard.

In 2018, a US-Bangla passenger plane from Bangladesh crashed on landing in Kathmandu, killing 49 of the 71 people aboard.

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