The recovery operation for a small passenger plane that crashed in a mountainous area in Nepal will resume Thursday after bad weather hampered the efforts, local media reports said. The Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Tara Air, was carrying 20 passengers and three crew members when it crashed shortly after takeoff.
Tara Air Viking 9N-AHH Twin Otter, which was on its way from Pokhara, a resort town about 125 miles west of the capital Kathmandu, to Jomsom, went missing early Wednesday after losing contact with the control tower. The plane’s wreckage was found near the village of Dana in Myagdi district. All people on board were killed in the crash. The bodies of the victims will reportedly be flown to Pokhara after they are retrieved.
The identities of those on the aircraft have not been revealed, but authorities said that there were two children on board. Authorities also reportedly said that there was a Chinese national and a Kuwaiti national.
Authorities suspect that bad weather led to the plane’s crash, Ananda Prasad Pokharel, the minister for civil aviation, said, according to the New York Times.
“The weather was not so clear,” Pokharel reportedly said. “Snowfall, rain and thick fog are responsible for the crash,” he added. Authorities are reportedly investigating why the plane took off despite bad weather.
However, Tara Air said on its website that "the weather at both origin and destination airports was favorable."
In Nepal, where the aviation industry has a poor safety record, many plane crashes have been blamed on bad weather, inexperienced pilots and inadequate maintenance.