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Nepal aircraft disaster survivors’ chances ‘zero’

A aircraft carrying 72 passengers from Nepal to India crashed on Sunday, and rescue teams spent Monday searching through the wreckage and the surrounding ravine for four missing corpses.

On Sunday morning, the Yeti Airlines ATR 72 crashed into the steep valley, broke into pieces, and erupted into flames as it was approaching the centre city of Pokhara. This was the deadliest aviation tragedy in Nepal since 1992.

A social media video, confirmed by AFP’s ESN, showed the twin-propeller aircraft banking quickly and steeply to the left as it neared Pokhara airport, which may have contributed to the tragedy. Then there was a huge bang.

Nepal, which has a dismal track record when it comes to aviation safety, had a day of sorrow on Monday.

Soldiers worked through the night with ropes and stretchers to get corpses out of the 300-meter (1,000-foot) deep gorge, and they continued doing so on Monday.

“So far, we have found 68 corpses. We have yet to find all four of the missing corpses. There’s no need to stop till we recover the dead “Tek Bahadur KC, a prominent local authority, revealed this information to the AFP.

“For the sake of God, please do a miracle. However, the likelihood of discovering any surviving individuals is vanishingly small “And he went on to say.

Nepal plane crash
Nepal plane crash

The wrecked passenger seats and the plane’s white fuselage could be seen all around the disaster scene.

“In agony”

The family of Sangita Shahi, one among the 68 passengers, is “in anguish,” as Raj Dhungana told AFP outside a hospital in Pokhara.

He spoke about a young lady in Kathmandu who was a student but who also owned a cosmetics studio and helped build an e-commerce website on the side.

“God has taken away such a wonderful person,” he wailed.

Five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one each from Argentina, Australia, France, and Ireland were among the passengers. The remaining people were all native Nepalese speakers.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, called it “incredible terrible news” in a tweet. Likewise, Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, has sent his sympathies.

The ATR 72 crashed between the old domestic airport and the new international airport in Pokhara at about 11 a.m. (05:15 GMT) on Sunday, while on route from the capital, Kathmandu.

Arun Tamu, 44, who was about 500 metres away and live-streamed footage of the burning debris on social media, described hearing a huge boom, “like a bomb went off,” as he was walking.

“Several of us have raced over to see if we can help anybody. As far as I could tell, two of the ladies were still alive. As the flames became more fierce, it became more of a challenge for us to come any closer “ex-soldier said to AFP.
Nobody on the ground could be seen, so it was hard to tell whether anybody had been hurt.

Myron William
Myron William

Myron William Love, of Sydney, has been identified as the only Australian on board the doomed Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara on Sunday, when the jet went down in a mountainside.

The Australian government’s foreign affairs agency, DFAT, has issued a statement saying it is “urgently attempting to ascertain the wellbeing of the Australian” on board. The ABC has been informed by Yeti Airlines that there are no survivors.

According to the insider, the situation is “devastating” for Mr. Love and his long-term girlfriend.

Sydney-based artist and Love pal James Lesjak-Atton hailed Love as the “greatest person” in an Instagram post.

“One of the greatest persons I’ve ever met has passed away,” Mr. Lesjak-Atton wrote in a now-deleted post.

“Myron was one of the men I loved most in the world; he was kind, humorous, and full of life. Forever and always, xxx we love you guy.”

Greg Waldon, an aviation specialist, told AFP that the jet seemed to experience a “wing stall” in the footage that was posted online. This is when the lift from one wing abruptly stops.

Waldon, managing editor for Asia at industry newspaper FlightGlobal, told AFP, “when you’re at low altitude and you have an accident like that… it’s tremendous danger.”

ATR, a French manufacturer, released a statement on Sunday saying its “specialists are fully engaged to help both the enquiry and the customer.”

The air transport sector in Nepal has seen rapid growth in recent years, facilitating the movement of both products and people between remote regions and catering to the needs of international mountaineers.
Yeti Airlines is Nepal’s second-largest airline, created in 1998 by entrepreneur Ang Tshering Sherpa, who tragically perished in a helicopter mishap in 2019.

Due to underinvestment in both training and maintenance, the aviation industry has been beset by a safety crisis. Because of safety concerns, the European Union has barred all flights from Nepal.

The runways in Nepal are among of the world’s most inaccessible and challenging because of the surrounding snow-capped mountains, steep inclines, and unpredictable weather.

The 1992 crash of a Pakistan International Airlines plane on approach to Kathmandu claimed the lives of all 167 passengers on board.

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