Kathmandu, Feb 25: Authorities on Thursday recovered all 23 bodies of people, including two foreigners, killed in Nepal, a day after their small plane crashed into a mountain in a remote Himalayan region amid bad weather.
Police and army personnel, who were mobilised since yesterday after the burnt-out wreckage of the Twin Otter aircraft was found in the western district of Myagdi, returned to the site today for search operation.
So far, seven bodies have been taken to Pokhara and kept at Gandaki Hospital for postmortem, according to a staff at the private Tara Air that operated the plane. The staff added that the remaining bodies will also be soon taken there.
The ill-fated plane was on a flight from the resort town of Pokhara, 125 km west of here, to Jomsom, the starting point for people trekking the Himalayas which is also popular among Hindu pilgrims visiting the Muktinath temple when it went missing.
The N9-AHH aircraft lost contact with the control tower just eight minutes into the 20-minute flight on the difficult route which goes through the mountains, is notoriously windy and which only small planes can fly.
The plane crashed in Dana village in the remote mountain region of Myagdi district yesterday morning, killing all 20 passengers and three crew members on board.
The rescue works were hampered this morning as the site was covered with snow and there was fog. Due to mountain wind, no aircraft could fly to the site for carrying out rescue works in early morning today. However, the search works resumed as weather cleared after some time, according to officials.
One Kuwaiti and another Chinese national were the two foreigners killed in the accident while two children were among the passengers. The bodies will be handed over to the families as soon as all the remains arrive in Pokhara.
The bodies will be flown to Kathmandu in case the family members of the deceased belong to the capital city, the airlines staff said. Meanwhile, the government has formed a five-member inquiry committee to investigate into the crash.
The committee headed by Rajesh Raj Dali, former general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport, is supposed to submit its report within 90 days.