The bodies of the Nepal Airlines twin otter crash victims have been transported to Kathmandu from the accident site in Argakhachi on Monday afternoon. A MI17 helicopter of the Nepal Army brought the bodies of the 18 on board of the ill-fated twin otter (9N ABB-DHC6) that crashed a place called Masine lek, Khanchikot in Dhikura VDC-8 of Arghakhanchi district. The bodies have been taken to TU Teaching Hospital for postmortem.
According to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), often referred to as a black box and other evidences from the crash site have also be brought to Kathmandu for investigation.
The crash site was discovered almost 20 hours after the Jumla-bound plane lost contact on Sunday at 1:13pm. A Nepal Army chopper spotted the wreckage of the missing Nepal Airlines twin otter on Masine lekh in Argakhachi at an altitude of 7000ft on today morning. Nepal Army Rescuers recovered bodies from the of all 18 on board after an extensive search.
The crash site was at an altitude of 4300 meters from sea level, and some four hours walking distance from the district headquarters Sandhikharka.
"Our helicopter identified a wreckage on the side of a hill in Argakhachi," said Nepal Army spokesperson Jagdish Pokharel. “Rescue teams were deployed then.”
Teams from Nepal Army, Police and Armed Police had been deployed all Sunday afternoon but were unable to locate the missing craft. Search for the missing plane had intensifed in Argakhachi on Sunday, after locals reported hearing a loud sound. The mobile signal of the pilot of the plane had also been located in Argakhachi.
The search continued on Monday since early morning.
There were 18 on board, including three crew members. Of the passengers, 14 were Nepalis and one was a Danish national. Among the Nepali passengers was also an infant.
The flight was being piloted by Capt. Shankar Shrestha and co-piloted by Rabindra Banjara. Air hostess Muna Maharjan was on board.
The Jumla-bound flight had departed from Pokhara Airport at 12:43 pm. The flight, numbered RA-183, had left Kathmandu, and was transiting though Pokhara. According to officials at Pokhara Airport, the flight came in contact with Kathmandu tower at 1:06 pm and with Bhairahawa at 1:13 pm but had been out of contact since then.