Plane crash in Nepal: At least 68 killed as a Yeti Airlines plane crashes near Pokhara

Kathmandu, Nepal

A minimum of 68 individuals have been killed Sunday when a aircraft crashed close to the town of Pokhara in central Nepal, a authorities official mentioned, within the nation’s worst aircraft crash. in over 30 years.

Sudarshan Partola, spokesman for Yeti Airways, mentioned 72 individuals – 4 crew members and 68 passengers – have been on board the ATR-72, operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airways, when it crashed. The Nepal Civil Aviation Authority acknowledged that 37 males, 25 ladies, three kids and three infants.

Military spokesman Krishna Prasad Bhandar mentioned the search effort was referred to as off after darkish and would resume on Monday morning. Bhandar mentioned lots of of first responders have been nonetheless working to find the remaining 4 people earlier than that point.

The Nepal Civil Aviation Authority mentioned at the very least one toddler was among the many useless.

Sunday’s accident was the third deadliest crash within the Himalayan nation’s historical past, in keeping with knowledge from the Aviation Security Community. The one accidents wherein extra individuals have been killed occurred in July and September 1992. These accidents concerned plane operated by Thai Airways and Pakistan Worldwide Airways, and left 113 and 167 individuals useless, respectively.

Rescue workers gather at the site of a plane crash in Pokhara.

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

The Civil Aviation Authority mentioned 53 of the passengers and all 4 crew members have been Nepalese. There have been additionally fifteen foreigners on board: 5 Indians, 4 Russians and two Koreans. The rest have been particular person residents of Australia, Argentina, France and Eire.

The nation’s official newspaper, The Rising Nepal, reported that the aircraft was on its means from the capital, Kathmandu, to Pokhara, the nation’s second most populous metropolis and gateway to the Himalayas. Pokahara is positioned 129 kilometers (80 miles) west of Kathmandu.

The final time the aircraft referred to as Pokhara Airport was round 10:50 am native time, about 18 minutes after it took off. Then he descended into the close by Metropolis River valley. Civil Aviation authorities mentioned in a press release that first responders from Nepal Military and varied police departments have been deployed to the crash website and are conducting a rescue operation.

A video emerged on social media on Sunday exhibiting moments earlier than the crash. The movie, which seems to have been shot from a rooftop in Pokhara, exhibits the aircraft flying low over a populated space and rolling on its facet earlier than the aircraft turns into unseen within the clip. A strong explosion may be heard on the finish of the video.

CNN can not independently confirm the authenticity of the clip.

A five-member committee was fashioned to research the reason for the crash. The quintet should report back to the federal government inside 45 days, in keeping with Nepali Deputy Prime Minister and authorities spokesman Bishnu Paudel.

Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal mentioned he was “extraordinarily saddened by the unlucky and tragic incident”.

“I sincerely enchantment to the safety personnel, all Nepali authorities businesses and most of the people to begin an efficient rescue operation,” Dahal mentioned on Twitter.

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

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

Nepal’s Yeti Airways mentioned it had canceled all common flights on Monday, January 16, to mourn the victims of the crash.

The Himalayan nation of Nepal is residence to eight of the 14 highest mountains on the planet, together with Mount Everest, He has a file of aviation accidents. The climate can change abruptly and airstrips are often positioned in mountainous areas which can be troublesome to entry.

Final Could, a Tara Air flight carrying 22 passengers It hit the Himalayas at about 14,500 toes. It was the nineteenth aircraft crash within the nation in 10 years and the tenth deadly over the identical interval, in keeping with Aviation Security Community Database.

The aircraft concerned in Sunday’s accident was an ATR 72-500, a twin-prop jet that’s usually used within the Asia-Pacific area, particularly amongst low-cost airways. Plane constructed by ATR, a joint partnership between European airways Airbus and Leonardo, get pleasure from repute.

Nonetheless, they’ve been concerned in accidents earlier than. Two ATR 72s operated by the now-defunct Taiwanese airline TransAsia have been concerned in deadly accidents in July 2014 And February 2015. The second prompted Taiwanese authorities to briefly floor all ATR 72s registered on the island.

In complete, the assorted ATR 72 fashions have been concerned in 11 deadly accidents earlier than Sunday’s accident in Nepal, In response to the Aviation Security Community.

ATR mentioned in a press release on Sunday that it had been notified of the incident.

“Our first ideas are with the entire people impacted by this,” the assertion learn. “ATR professionals are totally engaged to help each the investigation and the consumer.”

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