Nepal plane crash searchers abseiling, flying drones to find the last two people

KATHMANDU, Jan. 17 (Reuters) – Searchers used drones and rappelled down a 200 meters (656 feet) deep canyon in Nepal’s second-largest city on Tuesday to search for two missing persons after the country’s deadliest plane crash in 30 years. 70 people.

Difficult terrain and inclement weather hampered rescue efforts near the tourist city of Pokhara, where the Yeti Airlines ATR 72 turboprop with 72 people on board crashed in clear weather on Sunday just before landing.

“There is thick fog here now. We are sending search and rescue personnel with the help of ropes into the canyon where parts of the plane fell and were on fire,” Ajay KC, a Pokhara police official who is part of the rescue effort, told Reuters . .

Searchers found two more bodies on Monday before the search was called off due to fading light.

“There were small children among the passengers. Some may have been burned and died, and may not be found. We will continue to search for them,” said KC.

An airport official said 48 bodies were taken to the capital Kathmandu on Tuesday and sent to a hospital for autopsies, while 22 bodies were handed over to families in Pokhara.

Medical personnel in personal protective equipment and masks helped transport the shrouded bodies from stretchers to a vehicle before they were flown to Kathmandu, Reuters photos showed.

Television channels showed family members crying as they waited for the bodies of their loved ones outside a hospital in Pokhara.

On Monday, searchers found the flight’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, both in good working order, a discovery that will likely help investigators determine what caused the crash.

Reuters chart

Under international aviation regulations, the crash investigation agencies of the countries where the aircraft and engines were designed and built are automatically part of the investigation.

ATR is based in France and the aircraft’s engines are manufactured in Canada by Pratt & Whitney Canada (RTX.N).

French and Canadian aircraft accident investigators have said they plan to participate in the investigation.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma, written by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Edited by Jamie Freed

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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