Black box and cockpit voice recorder from plane that crashed in Nepal found

The black box and cockpit voice recorder of the plane that crashed in Nepal have been found, a Kathmandu Airport official has said.

The ATR 72 aircraft, operated by Yeti Airlines, was carrying 72 people when it crashed.

Rescuers called off their search on Monday evening local time with two people still unaccounted for, and the operation will resume on Tuesday, according to an airport official.

Video on local media showed thick black smoke billowing from the crash site as rescue workers and crowds gathered around the wreckage of the aircraft.

Teknath Sitaula, a Kathmandu Airport official, said the so-called black boxes “are in a good condition now. They look
good from outside”.

The data on the recorders may help investigators determine what caused the plane to crash.

Nepal declared Monday a day of mourning and has set up a panel to investigate the disaster and suggest measures to avoid such incidents in future.

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A witness to the tragic Nepal plane crash describes the moment he unwittingly filmed the final moments of the aircraft before its fatal crash.

The plane, on a scheduled flight from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu to Pokhara, the gateway to the scenic Annapurna mountain range, was carrying 57 Nepalis, five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one person each from Argentina, Ireland, Australia and France.

Pokhara police official Ajay KC said the search and rescue operation, which stopped because of nightfall on Sunday, has now resumed.

He said: “We will take out the five bodies from the gorge and search for the remaining four that are still missing.”

The other 63 bodies had been sent to a hospital, he said.

As it crashed the aircraft’s fuselage was split into multiple parts which were scattered down the gorge.

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The plane crashed in the resort town of Pokhara, breaking into pieces as it hit the ground, officials said

Tek Bahadur KC, a senior administrative officer in the Kaski district, said he expected rescue workers to find more bodies at the bottom of the gorge.

Gaurav Gurung, a witness, said he saw the aircraft spinning violently in the air after it began to attempt a landing.

He added he saw the plane fall nose-first towards its left and then crash into the gorge.

“The plane caught fire after the crash. There was smoke everywhere,” Mr Gurung said.

Nepalese rescue workers and civilians gather around the wreckage. Pic: AP
Nepalese rescue workers and civilians gather around the wreckage. Pic: AP
Nepalese rescue workers and civilians gather around the wreckage of the crashed passenger plane

Nearly 350 people have died since 2000 in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal – home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest – where sudden weather changes can make for hazardous conditions.

Experts say air accidents are usually caused by a combination of factors, and investigations can take months or longer.

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