A small twin-engine aircraft carrying 22 people crashed Sunday in the mountains of Nepal in Central Asia and it was immediately clear that there would be no survivors.
Nepali authorities announced Tuesday that the final body had been located and recovered from the wreckage and debris strewn across a mountainside, The Washington Post reported.
The propeller-driven aircraft was a DHC-6-300 Twin Otter flying for Nepal’s Tara Air that was carrying three crew members and 19 passengers between the tourist destinations of Pokhara and Jomsom — a dangerous route that cuts through high mountains and has a history of airplane crashes.
The Indian Express reported Tuesday that Nepali authorities had finally recovered the last body from the wreckage, which confirmed the tragic suspicion that everybody aboard had perished in the crash that is believed to have been caused by bad weather in the area.
Crash site: Sanosware, Thasang-2, Mustang pic.twitter.com/OcN93N1Qyb
— NASpokesperson (@NaSpokesperson) May 30, 2022
In addition to the three Nepali crew members, the small plane was also carrying 13 Nepali passengers as well as four Indians and two Germans.
A preliminary investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal determined that the aircraft had most likely entered thick clouds and turned toward the right when it should have turned left while navigating the steep mountaintops of the Mustang district in the Himalayan Mountains.
That error sent the plane crashing into the side of a 14,500-foot mountain and killed everyone aboard. In the immediate aftermath, the Nepali government established a special five-member commission to further investigate the crash.
Weather-related safety regulations tightened
Flight Global reported Wednesday that the CAAN wasted little time in announcing tightened regulations for all aircraft traversing that particularly dangerous area through the steep mountains that are often hit with inclement weather.
Now, all airlines and airports will be required to “suspend operations” when bad weather hits, flight crews will have to submit detailed weather information along with the flight plans, and air traffic services will now have sole authority to approve or deny submitted flight plan requests.
The regulators are further considering requiring at least two pilots on all flights, even those involving single-engine aircraft, among other safety and weather-related changes.
Sadly, this fatal plane crash is merely the latest in a series of deadly air tragedies in the mountainous nation of Nepal, but hopefully, these tightened regulations will help reduce the chances of future disasters.