Nepal plane crash: At least 68 killed as Yeti Airlines aircraft comes down near city of Pokhara

Kathmandu, Nepal

Not less than 68 individuals had been killed Sunday when an plane went down close to the town of Pokhara in central Nepal, a authorities official mentioned, the nation’s deadliest airplane crash. in additional than 30 years.

Seventy-two individuals – 4 crew members and 68 passengers – had been on board the ATR 72 airplane operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airways when it crashed, Yeti Airways spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula mentioned. Thirty-seven had been males, 25 had been ladies, three had been youngsters and three had been infants, Nepal’s civil aviation authority reported.

Search efforts had been referred to as off after darkish, Military spokesman Krishna Prasad Bhandari mentioned, and can resume Monday morning. Lots of of first responders had been nonetheless working to find the remaining 4 people earlier than then, Bhandari mentioned.

Among the many useless is not less than one toddler, in accordance with Nepal’s civil aviation authority.

Sunday’s accident was the third-deadliest crash within the Himalayan nation’s historical past, in accordance with knowledge from the Aviation Security Community. The one incidents during which extra individuals had been killed came about in July and September 1992. These crashes concerned plane run by Thai Airways and Pakistan Worldwide Airways and left 113 and 167 individuals useless, respectively.

Rescuers gather at the site of a plane crash in Pokhara.

Authorities said 72 people were on board when the plane went down.

The civil aviation authority mentioned that 53 of the passengers and all 4 crew members had been Nepali. Fifteen overseas nationals had been on the airplane as effectively: 5 had been Indian, 4 had been Russian and two had been Korean. The remainder had been particular person residents of Australia, Argentina, France and Eire.

The plane had been flying from the capital of Kathmandu to Pokhara, the nation’s second-most populous metropolis and a gateway to the Himalayas, the nation’s state media The Rising Nepal reported. Pokahara is situated some 129 kilometers (80 miles) west of Kathmandu.

The airplane was final involved with Pokhara airport at about 10:50 am native time, about 18 minutes after takeoff. It then went down within the close by Seti River Gorge. First responders from the Nepal Military and varied police departments have been deployed to the crash website and are finishing up a rescue operation, the civil aviation authorities mentioned in a press release.

A video clip on social media on Sunday appeared to indicate the moments earlier than the plane crashed. The movie, which seems to be taken from the rooftop of a home in Pokhara, exhibits the airplane flying low over a populated space and rolling on its facet earlier than the plane is not seen within the clip. A loud explosion will be heard on the finish of the video.

CNN can not independently confirm the authenticity of the clip.

A five-member committee has additionally been shaped to analyze the reason for the crash. The quintet should submit a report back to the federal government inside 45 days, in accordance with Nepal’s deputy prime minister and authorities spokesperson Bishnu Paudel.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal mentioned he was “deeply saddened by the unhappy and tragic accident.”

“I sincerely attraction to the safety personnel, all businesses of the Nepal authorities and most of the people to start out an efficient rescue,” Dahal mentioned on Twitter.

The federal government declared Monday a public vacation to mourn the victims, a spokesman for the prime minister mentioned.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President each conveyed their condolences, as did Australia’s ambassador to Nepal.

Nepal’s Yeti Airways mentioned it was canceling all common flights on Monday, January 16, in mourning for the victims of the crash.

The Himalayan nation of Nepal, dwelling to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, together with Everest, has a report of air accidents. Its climate can change immediately and airstrips are sometimes situated in difficult-to-reach mountainous areas.

Final Could, a Tara Air flight carrying 22 individuals crashed right into a Himalayan mountain at an altitude of about 14,500 toes. That was the nation’s nineteenth airplane crash in 10 years and its tenth deadly one throughout the identical interval, in accordance with the Aviation Security Community database.

The plane concerned in Sunday’s crash was an ATR 72-500, a twin-prop turbojet usually used within the Asia-Pacific area, particularly amongst low-cost carriers. Planes made by ATR, a joint partnership between European aeronautics firms Airbus and Leonardo, sometimes have a very good repute.

Nonetheless, they’ve been concerned in crashes earlier than. Two ATR 72s operated by the now-defunct Taiwanese airline Transasia had been concerned in lethal crashes in July 2014 and February 2015. The second prompted Taiwanese authorities to quickly floor all ATR 72’s registered on the island.

In complete, the ATR 72’s varied fashions had been concerned in 11 deadly incidents earlier than Sunday’s crash in Nepal, in accordance with the Aviation Security Community.

ATR mentioned in a press release Sunday that it had been knowledgeable of the accident.

“Our first ideas are with all of the people affected by this,” the assertion learn. “ATR specialists are absolutely engaged to help each the investigation and the shopper.”

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