Explained: Why Nepal witnesses frequent airplane crashes


NEW DELHI: At least 68 people were killed on Sunday when a Nepalese passenger plane with 72 people onboard, including five Indians, crashed into a river gorge while landing at the newly-opened airport in central Nepal’s resort city of Pokhara.
Yeti Airlines‘ 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am and crashed on the bank of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport minutes before landing, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

It was the country’s deadliest plane crash in more than 30 years.
Nepal has witnessed several plane crashes over the years due to insufficient training and maintenance. It is also important to note that Nepal has a challenging topography with a large number of small and remote airports.


Nepal plane with 72 passengers crashes in Pokhara

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Aircraft operators have said Nepal lacks infrastructure for accurate weather forecasts, especially in remote areas with challenging mountainous terrain where deadly crashes have taken place in the past.
The weather can also change quickly in the mountains, creating treacherous flying conditions.
In the last 10 years, there have been several incidents of airplane crashes in Nepal:
* On March 12, 2018, a Bangladesh-bound US-Bangla Airlines plane, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, crashed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, killing 51 people and injuring 20 others.
* On February 27, 2016, a Turkish Airlines cargo plane, a Boeing 747-400F, crashed near the village of Jogbudha in Nepal, killing all four crew members on board.
* On February 24, 2014, a Sita Air Dornier Do228 aircraft, carrying 22 passengers and three crew members, crashed in Kathmandu, Nepal, killing all on board.
* On September 28, 2012, a Agni Air Dornier Do228 aircraft, carrying 21 passengers and three crew members, crashed in the Myagdi District of Nepal, killing all on board.
* On May 14, 2012, a Yeti Airlines DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft, carrying 19 passengers and three crew members, crashed in the Jomsom area of Nepal, killing all on board.
However, it is not accurate to say that Nepal has the worst record of airplane crashes in the world during this period.

According to the data from the Aviation Safety Network, there are several other countries that have a higher number of airplane crashes or incidents during this period. Thus it is not fair to generalize about the safety records of any country, as it depend on a lot of factors and it is important to evaluate them individually.
(With inputs from agencies)


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