Kathmandu: A team from French ATR aeroplane manufacturing company has begun on-site investigation of the Yeti Airlines ATR-72 plane crash in Pokhara that took place last Sunday morning.
The team reached the Seti River gorge where the plane with call sign 9 N-ANC had fallen deep down and crashed claiming lives of all 72 onboard and inspected the accident site.
The investigating team comprising nine members has been facilitated by officials from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), security personnel as well as the locals. The team also reportedly flew a drone camera to screen the accident site.
The plane with 72 people onboard; 68 passengers and four crew members had flown to Pokhara from Kathmandu at 10:32 am and crashed in the gorge. The dead bodies of 71 have already been retrieved so far while search is underway to find out one missing dead body, said Superintendent of Police Ajay KC.
The plane manufacturing company is said to be taking an interest in studying Nepal’s first ATR plane crash. Tek Bahadur KC, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kaski, shared that he came to know about the investigating team through the concerned agency and he did not have much knowledge about the matter.
CDO KC explained, “The security agencies are deployed for search and rescue and management of dead bodies post the disasters. The matter relating to examination and investigation is not related to us.”
The government has also formed an investigation committee coordinated by Joint-Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Buddisagar Lamichhane, which is also looking into the case at present.
Some members of the French team have returned to Kathmandu after the on-site study of the accident while some were still in Pokhara, according to Chief of Pokhara International Airport, Bikram Gautam. Earlier on Monday, the ‘black box’ of the crashed aircraft was found. The CAAN is hopeful that the ‘black box’ would help find out the cause behind the air crash.