Rescuers searching a mountainside in Nepal retrieved the bodies of 22 people aboard a plane that crashed on Sunday, officials said. All but one were recovered on Monday, and the remaining victim was found on Tuesday.
Rescue efforts were delayed because some bodies were suspended under the wreckage. Rescue workers working with their hands had difficulty moving the metal debris around.
Aerial images of the crash site showed parts of the planes scattered on rocks and moss on the side of a mountain gorge.
The Tara Air Turoprop Twin Otter lost contact with the airport tower on Sunday while flying a scheduled 20-minute flight through the region’s deep river gorges and mountaintops.
Relatives waited most of the day at the airport for news of their loved ones.
Tara Aviation said four Indians and two Germans were on board. It added that the three crew members and the other passengers were Nepalese.
The German news agency (dpa) reported that the Germans are a man and a woman from the western state of Hesse.
“Unfortunately, we have to assume at this point that the two people are no longer alive,” a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior in Hesse state was quoted by the German news agency (dpa). “By the Hessian police, relatives have already been notified and care procedures have begun.”
Local news reports said the passengers included two Nepalese families, one with four and the other with seven.
The military said the plane crashed in Sanusauer in the Mustang district near the mountain town of Jomsom as it was heading after taking off from the Pokhara resort, 125 miles west of Kathmandu.
According to the tracking data from flightradar24.comThe 43-year-old took off from Pokhara at 9:55 am and sent its last signal at 10:07 am at 12825 feet.
The plane destination is popular with foreign trekkers trekking its mountainous trails and with Indian and Nepalese pilgrims visiting the revered Muktinath Temple.
The wreck was found by villagers searching the area for the Yarsagumba mushroom, commonly referred to as Himalayan Viagra, according to local news reports.
A villager, Peshal Magar, was quoted by the Situpati news site as saying that they heard about the missing plane on Sunday but were only able to reach the site on Monday morning after the smell of fuel.
Magar said it appears the plane may have crossed the top of a smaller mountain and then crashed into a larger one.
The Twin Otter, a durable aircraft originally made by Canadian aircraft manufacturer De Havilland, has been in service in Nepal for nearly 50 years, during which it has had about 21 accidents, according to the British Guardian newspaper. aviationnepal.com.
The aircraft is known for its upper wing and fixed landing gear, for its durability and ability to take off and land on short runways.
Aircraft production originally ended in the 1980s. Another Canadian company, Viking Air, brought the model back into production in 2010.
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