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Black boxes from crashed plane in Nepal go to Singapore

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KATHMANDU, Nepal — The black boxes recovered from the Jan. 15 plane crash in Nepal are being sent to Singapore for analysis to determine the cause of the crash that killed all 72 people on board, officials said Thursday.

Both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder would be examined by experts from Singapore’s Transportation Safety Investigation Bureau.

“The Nepalese investigation team will leave on Friday with the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder where the data will be downloaded and analyzed,” said Rajendra Kumar KC, spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority.

It was initially proposed to take the black boxes to France, where the plane was manufactured, but Nepalese authorities now plan to send the recorders to Singapore.

A committee formed by the government is still investigating the cause of the Yeti Airlines plane crash.

Rescue workers are combing down the hill looking for the remains of two people still missing since the January 15 crash in the resort town of Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of the capital, Kathmandu.

The twin-engine ATR 72-500 aircraft was on approach to Pokhara International Airport in the foothills of the Himalayas when it plunged into a canyon about 1.6 kilometers (1 mi) from the runway at an altitude of about 820 meters (2,700 feet).

While it’s still not clear what caused the crash, some aviation experts say video taken from the ground of the plane’s final moments indicates it went into a stall, though it’s unclear why.

It was carrying 68 passengers, including 15 foreigners, as well as four crew members. The foreigners included five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans and one from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France.

The Nepal Civil Aviation Authority has also said the airport’s instrument landing system will not operate until Feb. 26 — eight weeks after the airport became operational on Jan. 1. mountainous terrain and the resulting variable weather conditions make flying difficult.

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