A tragic event took place in Nepal today, as a commercial plane with 72 people on board crashed and caught fire near an airport in the central region of the country. The Yeti Airlines flight, which was en route from Kathmandu to the popular tourist destination of Pokhara, crashed during its landing attempt.
Social media posts captured videos of the plane flying low over a populated area before spinning out of control. Others showed heavy black smoke plumes from the crash site, with burning debris visible in some videos.
The authorities have confirmed that, of the 68 passengers on board, at least 40 bodies have been recovered from the crash site. The remains of the plane were found in the gorge of the Seti River, just 1.5 kilometres from the airport. A large-scale rescue operation is currently underway, with hundreds of Nepalese soldiers working to find any survivors and retrieve more bodies. The plane is said to have broken into pieces upon impact, making the search and rescue effort more challenging.
The passenger list of the flight includes 68 people, with a majority of them being Nepalese citizens. There were also 15 foreign nationals among the passengers, including five Indians, four Russians, two Koreans, and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina, and France.
The Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, has called for an emergency meeting of his cabinet and urged all state agencies to work together in the rescue operations.
It is not uncommon for plane crashes to occur in Nepal, due to the country’s unpredictable weather conditions and often remote airports with difficult runways to land on. In May 2022, a Tara Air plane crashed in the northern district of Mustang, resulting in the deaths of 22 people. A similar incident occurred in early 2018, where 51 people lost their lives when a US-Bangla flight caught fire during its landing in Kathmandu.
Horrifying last moments of an ATR plane crash from Nepal in Pokhara that was bound for Kathmandu. All 72 people on board are dead. pic.twitter.com/4JZIvnThPQ
— Wajahat Kazmi (@KazmiWajahat) January 15, 2023
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