Kathmandu (Daily Pakistan Online) At least 68 people were killed after a plane carrying about 72 people from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu crashed in Pokhara. The plane, which crashed between the old and new airports of the city in western Nepal, was carrying 68 passengers and four crew members. The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft of Yeti Airlines was going from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. There were 15 foreign nationals and six children on board. The airline said in a statement that the plane was carrying 53 Nepalese, 5 Indians, 4 Russians, 2 Koreans, an Argentinian, and one each from Ireland, Australia and France.
According to news agency AFP, the bodies of 31 people who died in the plane have been taken to hospitals, 36 other bodies were found in the gorge where the plane crashed.
Nepali journalist Dilip Thapa told NDTV that rescue operations became difficult due to the fire in the debris. Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda called an emergency cabinet meeting immediately after the accident and the Nepal government formed a five-member inquiry commission to investigate the incident.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the plane took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am. The plane was about to land at the Pokhara airport, when it crashed into a ravine on the banks of the Siti River. The crash occurred about 20 minutes after takeoff, suggesting the plane was descending. The flight time between the two cities is 25 minutes.
“We don’t know yet if there are any survivors,” airline spokesman Sudarshan Bertola told AFP news agency, citing a local official who said the plane caught fire as it fell. Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotraditya Scindia expressed grief over the loss of life in the plane crash.