New Delhi: All passengers including four Indian nationals who were traveling in the ill-fated Tara Air have been confirmed dead, according to the passenger list released by the airline on Monday.
Tara Air’s 9 NAET twin-engine aircraft carrying 19 passengers and three crew members, flying from Pokhara to Jomsom had lost contact on Sunday morning, minutes after it took off from Pokhara airport.
“I am sad to hear that all passengers onboard in the Tara Air are dead,” Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba tweeted on Monday afternoon.
The Indian nationals identified as Vaibhavi Banderkar, Ashok Kumar Tripathy, Dhanush Tripathy and Ritika Tripathy are believed to be from Pune. Likewise, seven members of a Nepalese family were also killed in the crash.
As of Monday afternoon, 20 dead bodies have been retrieved from the crash site, according to Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesperson of Tara Air.
The bodies have been scattered over a 100-metre radius from the main impact point.
The India Embassy in Kathmandu has already established contacts with family members of the departed Indian nationals.
After bad weather hampered the search and rescue operation on Sunday, the army called off the mission and resumed the operation on Monday morning.
The search for Tara’s plane began shortly after it lost contact on Sunday morning. But the plane could not be traced. It takes 20 minutes to reach Jomsom from Pokhara but within 12 minutes of taking off, the aircraft lost contact.
The plane was carrying 13 Nepalese, four Indians, and two Germans.