Relatives protest slow autopsy of Nepal plane crash victims
POKHARA, Nepal (AP) — Grieving relatives of plane crash victims in Nepal were growing impatient as they waited for authorities to conduct autopsies and hand the bodies for cremation.
The Yeti Airlines flight with 72 aboard plummeted into a gorge on Sunday while on approach to the newly opened Pokhara International Airport in the foothills of the Himalayas. There were no survivors.
“It has been four days, but no one is listening to us,” a heart-broken Madan Kumar Jaiswal said on Wednesday, as he waited outside the Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine.
He said he wanted the post-mortem to be done quickly so that the families can receive the bodies of their loved ones.
“They are saying that they will do a DNA test. My daughter is dead,” said Ashok Rayamagi, father of another victim.
Authorities did not comment on the autopsies Wednesday but several of the bodies were reported to be badly burned.
Some aviation experts said footage from the ground of the plane’s last moments indicated the aircraft went into a stall, although it’s unclear why.
The search for the only remaining missing person resumed on Wednesday with the help of divers and drones, police said. Workers had shut down a dam on the Seti River to help them look for the body in the 300-meter-deep (984-foot-deep) ravine.
A team of experts from the French manufacturer of the ATR aircraft visited the crash site in Pokhara, the gateway to popular hiking tracks in the Himalayas.
The Cologne-based European Union Aviation Safety Agency also said it was taking part in the investigation alongside the French air accident investigations agency BEA, EASA spokeswoman Janet Northcote said.
Searchers retrieved cockpit voice and flight data recorders on Monday. The voice recorder would be analyzed locally, but the flight data recorder would be sent to France.
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