Nepal retrieves bodies of 22 plane crash victims


KATHMANDU –Search and rescue workers retrieved 22 mangled bodies of people killed on Wednesday when a small plane crashed in the Himalayan foothills of remote east Nepal, an official said on Thursday. The Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Tara Air between the remote town of Lamidanda and capital Kathmandu, had lost contact shortly after takeoff on Wednesday from the mountainous airstrip. Officials said the aircraft probably ploughed into a 9,000-feet-high hill.

All 19 passengers and a crew of three were killed in the crash, the second deadly accident in less than six months.

The passengers were pilgrims returning from a shrine in Lamidanda in Khotang district, 162 kilometers (101 miles) east of Kathmandu, Khotang district administrator Keshav Acharya said.

Tara Air officials said 18 passengers were Bhutanese, one was a Tibetan holding an American passport and three Nepali crew.

Small aircraft flying to remote and dusty airstrips in Nepal are common modes of transport in the country’s mountainous regions that lack proper roads and can be reached only on foot.

Fourteen people including six foreigners were killed in an aircrash in August in rainy weather near Kathmandu.