A youth from Badigaun Rural Municipality 7 of Baglung, who is in Mustang to collect yarsagumba (caterpillar fungus) found the crashed Tara Air Twin Otter plane Monday morning.
Bishal Gharti Magar was staying around Sanosware area in Thasang-2 of Mustang district along with friends since the third week of April. He was collecting yarsagumba in the area even on Sunday.
“We felt as if a plane flew right above our head. There was a loud noise shortly after. We talked among us whether the plane hit something,” Gharti Magar told Setopati. “But it was cloudy and we could not see the hills.”
He added that his villagers called him later to inform that a Tara Air plane has gone missing. “We searched the plane until Sunday evening feeling we can find it but to no avail,” he stated. “We have erected a tent in this area. We woke up at five in the morning and left to search the plane after drinking tea. We reached the hill above after walking for about an hour. There are three of us. Two of the friends went further uphill while I went downhill. I could smell something like diesel after walking a little downhill. I found debris of the plane after I moved toward the source of the smell feeling the plane may have crashed there. I saw body parts scattered.”
He told Setopati that he then called the husband of his sister in the village and informed about finding the crash site. “He apparently informed the police. The police called me in a while and I sent photos and video of the crash site after they asked me to send the same.”
He said that the plane seemed to have first hit something and again crashed with another thing. “No injured person was seen at the site. No one was found alive,” he went on. “The bodies were not in a proper condition while the plane has also been broken into pieces.”
He added that two policemen and another person first reached the spot after he located the crash site.
Chief District officer (CDO) of Mustang Netra Prasad Sharma told Setopati that Gharti Magar first found the plane and sent photos of the crash site.
The plane flown by Captain Prabhakar Ghimire was carrying 22 persons including three crew members and 19 passengers. The passengers included 13 Nepalis, four Indians and two Germans.
It was flying at an altitude of 12,825 feet when it lost contact at 10:07 in the morning, according to Flightradar data.