KIEV, May 7. /TASS/. A Ukrainian defence ministry’s Ilyushin Il-76 plane with Ukrainian nationals evacuated from quake-hit Nepal has finally landed in Kiev after a lengthy stopover in Baku, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said on its Twitter account on Thursday.
"The Il-76 plane with Ukrainians evacuated from Nepal has just landed at the Borispol airport," the tweet said.
The plane has taken 76 Ukrainian nationals and 11 citizens of other states.
According to the Ukrainian media, the stopover in Baku was needed to allow some rest for the pilots. The plane spent twelve hours at the Baku airport.
Ukrainian nationals were unable to leave quake-hit Nepal for several days due to a malfunction in the plane. Ukrainian media said earlier the plane was unable to take off because of technical malfunctions. Technicians could not begin repair works "due to problems with Indian customs service." A spare part for the plane was delivered right from Ukraine but it did not fit. Back on May 2, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said the Il-76 had been repaired and was ready to take off but the flight initially planned overnight to Tuesday was delayed again. On the way back to Kiev, the ill-fortune plane had one of its landing gear wheels broken while landing at the New Delhi airport.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s government ruled to allocate a total of 7.4 million hryvnias (350,000 U.S. dollars) to evacuate Ukrainian citizens from Nepal.
Currently, there are 210 Ukrainians in Ukraine. No contact has been established with 46.
A devastating magnitude 7.9 earthquake, the strongest one in the past 80 years, rocked Nepal on Saturday, April 25. The epicenter was located 84 kilometres away from the capital city Kathmandu at a depth of 15 kilometres. The earthquake was followed by a series of about 90 aftershocks with a magnitude ranging from 3.2 to 6.9.
According to the latest reports, the earthquake claimed more than 7,500 lives. More than 16,000 people were injured. According to Nepal’s defence ministry, the quake ruined 191,000 dwelling houses and damaged 1475,000 more. The earthquake triggered snow slides at the world’s highest Mount Everest, burring about 80 climbers. Earth tremors were felt in the Indian capital New Delhi and in its eastern, northern and northeastern states, where about 70 people were killed and more than 250 injured, in Myanmar, Bangaldesh, and in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.