June 7, 2023

Deadly aircraft crashes common in mountainous Nepal


People stand near the wreckage at the crash site of an aircraft carrying 72 people in Pokhara in western Nepal on January 15, 2023. — Reuters
People stand near the wreckage at the crash site of an aircraft carrying 72 people in Pokhara in western Nepal on January 15, 2023. — Reuters

Mountainous Nepal, where dozens of people were killed on Sunday when a plane crashed in the tourist town of Pokhara, has a history of deadly air crashes.

Here are details of plane and helicopter crashes this century in the Himalayan country, where several airlines fly to small airports in remote hills and mountains shrouded in clouds and cut off from roads.

Before Sunday’s crash, 273 people had been killed in the country in 17 air crashes since 2000.

January 15, 2023

A twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft carrying 72 people, operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airlines, crashed in Pokhara, killing at least 68.

It was the worst air crash in the country since 1992 when all 167 people aboard a Pakistan International Airlines plane were killed when it ploughed into a hill as it tried to land in Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu.

May 29, 2022

Sixteen Nepalis, four Indians and two Germans died on a De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter aircraft that crashed 15 minutes after taking off from Pokhara, 125 km (80 miles) west of Kathmandu.

Operated by Yeti unit Tara Air, the aircraft made its first flight in April 1979, according to the flight-tracking website Flightradar24.

February 27, 2019

A helicopter crashed in bad weather in eastern Nepal, killing all seven people on board, including the tourism minister.

March 12, 2018

Fifty-one of 71 people on a Bangladeshi airliner operated by US-Bangla Airlines died when it crashed in cloudy weather as it came in to land at the Nepalese capital’s hill-ringed airport.

It was a Bombardier Q400 series aircraft.

February 26, 2016

Two people were feared dead after a small plane crashed in western Nepal’s Kalikot district. It was operated by Kasthamandap Airlines.

February 24, 2016

A small plane crashed in bad weather, killing all 23 people on board. The Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Tara Air, was on a flight from Pokhara.

February 16, 2014

All 18 people on a small plane that crashed in bad weather were killed. The Twin Otter aircraft was operated by state-run Nepal Airlines Corp.

September 28, 2012

A small propeller-driven Dornier aircraft struck a bird and crashed shortly after takeoff from Kathmandu, killing 19 people, including seven British and five Chinese passengers.

September 25, 2011

A small plane carrying foreign tourists to view Mount Everest crashed in bad weather near Kathmandu, killing all 19 people on board.

The Beech aircraft was operated by the private airline Buddha Air.

December 16, 2010

A small plane crashed in the Himalayan foothills of remote east Nepal, killing all 22 people onboard.

The Twin Otter aircraft was operated by Tara Air.

August 24, 2010

Fourteen people – including four Americans, a Japanese and a British national were killed when their small plane crashed in bad weather in Nepal. It was operated by privately held Agni Air.

October 8, 2008

A small Twin Otter plane crashed in the remote mountains of northeast Nepal, killing at least 18 people, mostly foreigners.

March 4, 2008

Four U.N. arms monitors were among at least 10 people killed in a helicopter crash in Nepal.

June 21, 2006

A Twin Otter passenger plane operated by Yeti Airlines crashed minutes before landing in the west of the country, killing all nine people onboard.

May 25, 2004

A Twin Otter cargo plane crashed in the Mount Everest region, killing its three crew. It was operated by Yeti Airlines.

August 22, 2002

Another Twin Otter plane, carrying foreign tourists, slammed into a mountain in bad weather in Nepal, killing all 18 people on board. It was operated by Shangrila Air.

July 17, 2002

Four people were feared dead after a twin-engine aircraft crashed into a mountain in west Nepal minutes before it was due to land.

July 27, 2000

A Canadian-built Twin Otter passenger plane crashed in western Nepal, killing all 25 people on board. It was operated by state-owned Royal Nepal Airlines.


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Ayan Khan

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