Kathmandu : The plane crash that led to the loss of 19 lives Sunday might have been averted had it been Monday, sorrowing relatives and friends feel.
A steady drizzle from Sunday night began gaining strength Monday, causing most domestic flights to be affected in Nepal.
Morning reports said only two domestic flights had taken off Kathmandu Monday from Pokhara city, a popular tourist destination, while the rest had been either cancelled or postponed due to bad weather.
International flights, however, had not been affected.
Buddha Air, whose mountain flight met with the mishap Sunday, the first blot on its 14-year-old flying record, announced it was cancelling all flights Monday as a mark of respect for the crash victims.
Reports quoting weather experts said Sunday’s flight to the Everest region should have been cancelled that day as it had been drizzling and visibility was bad.
“I told him not to go as the weather was bad,” said Ganga Karmacharya, uncle of Jagajan Karmacharya, a non-resident Nepali surgeon who died along with his American fiancee Natalie Neilan. “But he laughed and said he would be back within an hour.”
Karmacharya, chief of vascular surgery at Miami’s Veterans’ Administration Hospital and an associate professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, had come to Nepal to see his mother, who was diagnosed with kidney problems, and to introduce his fiancee to his family.
The couple were accompanied on that fatal last ride by his brother and sister-in-law, Nirajan and Sarada Karmacharya.
Though Nirajan initially survived the crash, he died while being treated in hospital.
Ironically, the flyers could not even get the much-awaited glimpse of the magic mountains, including Mount Everest, as the aircraft had to turn back due to bad weather and poor visibility.
Buddha Air, expressing regret for the loss of lives Monday, said it had started an internal investigation into the crash.
Nepal’s government has formed a three-member probe panel headed by former civil aviation chief Rajesh Raj Dali.