SURKHET, May 17: As many as 18 air accidents have occurred in the Karnali Province in the last 31 years claiming 28 lives. Twelve airplanes and six helicopters have been involved in accidents in the province so far, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
Just on Wednesday, pilot Kiran Bhattarai and co-pilot Aditya Nepali were killed when their airplane belonging to Makalu Air crashed in Kharpunath Rural Municipality-2 of Humla district.
According to CAAN, the first air crash in the province had taken place on August 19, 1987. An aircraft of Nepal Airlines got into a mishap in Dolpa Airport that year but luckily everyone survived.
The biggest air accident to have taken place in Karnali was on June 12, 2006, when nine persons were killed. Likewise, an aircraft of Necon Air had met with an accident in Jumla on January 17, 1999 killing five people. Similarly, four people were killed on July 17, 2002, when an aircraft of Sky Airlines met with an accident in Surkhet. Another air accident that took place in Kalikot on February 26, 2006, had claimed lives of two members of the crew.
The province has recorded six accidents involving helicopters, all of which had taken place inside the then Karnali zone. Among the helicopter accidents, two each had taken place in Humla and Mugu while one accident each had taken place in Kalikot and Jumla, informed Surkhet office of CAAN.
Most of these helicopter accidents had taken place in hill districts. Difficult topography, bad weather and single-engine aircraft among other things have been cited as the reasons for most of these accidents.