KATHMANDU: Nepalese troops on Monday recovered 18 bodies from the snow-blanketed wreckage of a plane that crashed into a hillside, the latest disaster to hit the country’s internationally blacklisted airlines.
Body parts and debris from the Nepal Airlines plane, which was carrying 15 passengers and three crew, were found scattered in a village next to the scene of Sunday’s crash in the mountainous west of the country, a police official at the scene said.
Officials dug through snow that had blanketed passengers’ bodies overnight in Arghakhanchi district, 226 kilometers (140 miles) west of the capital, local police official Kiran Khatri said.
“It was horrible, we found burned body parts. Only eight people had undamaged faces,” Khatri said in a phone interview.
The Twin Otter propeller plane, carrying locals and one passenger from Denmark, lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after taking off from the popular tourist town of Pokhara on Sunday afternoon.
The aircraft from the state-run carrier encountered heavy rain en route from Pokhara to the town of Jumla, 353 kilometers west of Kathmandu.
The crash, which left the aircraft shattered into small parts, is the latest to raise alarm over Nepal’s aviation industry. It comes only weeks after all the country’s airlines were banned from flying to the European Union.