Agni Air- Nepal Plane Crash in Jomsom Kills 15!

In less than two years time, yet another deadly plane crash of Agni Air takes 15 lives in Nepal. The Dornier plane en route from Pokhara to Jomsom in Mustang crashed near Jomsom airport this (Monday) morning around 9:45 NST.

Two Nepali nationals Pilot Prabhu Sharan Pathak and Co-pilot JD Maharjan and thirteen Indian nationals have lost their lives in the crash. Six people including Nepali air hostess – Roshani Haiju, three Indians (one Man and two children), and Danish couple were rescued and all of them are out of danger.

Agni Air Nepal Plane Crash
Agni Air - Dornier 228 Air Plane - similar to the model that crashed in Nepal - Image Via Reuters

The aircraft was chartered by group of Indian tourists and they were on their way to Muktinath, a sacred place in Nepal.

Reason behind the Plane Crash

High wind pressure in the region and technical errors has been one of the suggested causes in preliminary reports. The aircraft lost balance while returning back to Pokhara said Bimlesh Lal Karna, head of Nepal’s national rescue department. He added “The pilot had reported a warning light flashing in the cockpit as he descended to Jomsom and the pilot told air traffic control moments before the crash that he was diverting back to Pokhara”. Challenging topography and fast-building storms are reasons causing air crashes in the region. A further investigation has been carried on the crash.

Jomsom Location where Agni Nepal Plane Crashed
Exact Location in Jomsom where Agni Plane Crashed - File Photo: Tek Narayan Bhattarai

Officials about Nepal Plane Crash

Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna both expressed their condolences over the deaths.

Nepali Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bahttarai issued a Press Statement expressing deep sorrow over the death of 15 persons in the crash and wished for early recovery of those injured in the incident.

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said in a message “I am deeply saddened to hear about the tragic air crash that occurred earlier this morning near Jomsom airport in Nepal. I would like to convey my deep condolences to the families of all those who have lost their lives in this accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who have lost their near and dear ones”.

India has also setup its helpline in Kathmandu based Indian embassy to provide information on the crash.

Jomsom Airport – World’s most dangerous Airfields

The Jomsom Airport serves as a gateway for trekkers and religious pilgrims. The Airport, at an elevation of 2,707 metres (8,880 feet), is one of the world’s most dangerous airfields due to the mountainous terrain on the approach.

Agni Plane Landing at Jomsom Airport in Nepal
Agni Plane seen Landing at Jomsom Airport in Nepal - File photo via Tek Narayan Bhattarai

3 Plane Crashes in Nepal within Two Years

Nearly two years ago in August 2010, another Agni Dornier aircraft had crashed killing 14 people. Three crew members and 11 people including four Americans, a Japanese and a British national had died in the incident.

And recently in September 2011, Buddha Air plane taking tourists on a sightseeing trip around Mount Everest crashed in September last year, killing all 19 people on board.

This is a big tragedy in Nepali Aviation Industry. Hopefully incidents as such are taken seriously by the authorities. Condolences to all the departed souls! RIP!!

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