KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Rescuers have recovered all 22 bodies from the site where a plane crashed on a mountainside in Nepal, the airline said Tuesday.
All the bodies were flown to Kathmandu and taken to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital where doctors are performing autopsies, Tara Air said in a statement.
The bodies will be handed over to relatives once autopsy is done, it said.
While 10 bodies were flown to Kathmandu on Monday, the remaining were brought by army helicopter on Tuesday. Relatives of the crash victims waited outside the hospital building for authorities to release the bodies.
The Tara Air turboprop Twin Otter aircraft lost contact with the airport tower Sunday while flying on a scheduled 20-minute flight in an area of deep river gorges and mountaintops.
Four Indians and two Germans were on the plane, Tara Air said. The three crew members and other passengers were Nepali nationals, it said.
Local news reports said the passengers included two Nepali families, one with four members and the other with seven.
The plane crashed Sunday in Sanosware in Mustang district close to the mountain town of Jomsom, where it was heading after taking off from the resort town of Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu.
The plane’s destination is popular with foreign hikers who trek on its mountain trails, and with Indian and Nepalese pilgrims who visit the revered Muktinath temple.
The Twin Otter, a rugged plane originally built by Canadian aircraft manufacturer De Havilland, has been in service in Nepal for about 50 years, during which it has been involved in about 21 accidents, according to aviationnepal.com.
The plane, with its top-mounted wing and fixed landing gear, is prized for its durability and its ability to take off and land on short runways.
Binaj Gurubacharya, The Associated Press