By Gopal Sharma
KATHMANDU (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Nepalese officials said Wednesday there was no chance of finding any survivors of the country’s deadliest plane crash in 30 years, but workers would continue to search for the remains of the last missing passenger.
Rescue teams used drones and rappelled down deep ravines on Tuesday to sift through the charred remains of Yeti Airlines’ ATR 72 turboprop, which was carrying 72 people when it crashed near the resort city of Pokhara on Sunday morning.
“There is no chance of finding any survivors. We have collected 71 bodies so far. The search for the last one will continue,” Tek Bahadur KC, a senior district official in Pokhara, said Wednesday.
Identifying the bodies and bringing all 72 people to account has been difficult due to the state of the remains, said Ajay KC, a police officer at the rescue site.
“Until hospital tests show all 72 bodies, we will continue to search for the last person,” Ajay KC said.
Search teams found 68 bodies on the day of the crash and two more were recovered on Monday before the search was halted. Another body was recovered late Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
The teams had diverted the flow of a nearby river to search for the bodies, said Gurudutt Ghimire, another official who is part of the search operations.
“There is nothing left there. But the search will continue,” Ghimire said.
On Monday, searchers found the flight’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, both in good condition, a find that will likely help investigators determine what caused the crash.
Since Nepal lacks facilities to read so-called black boxes, the devices will be sent wherever the manufacturer recommends.
(Reporting by Gopal Sharma in Kathmandu, Writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar. Editing by Gerry Doyle)