At least 32 people were killed when a Nepalese passenger plane with 72 people onboard, including five Indians, crashed into a river gorge on Sunday while landing at the Pokhara airport, according to media reports.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Yeti Airlines’ 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am. Pokhara is a major tourist destination in the Himalayan nation.
While landing at the Pokhara airport, the aircraft crashed on the bank of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport. There were a total of 68 passengers and four crew members, Republica newspaper reported.
At least 32 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage site, The Himalayan Times newspaper reported.
Five Indians were among the total 15 foreign nationals onboard the plane, the paper reported.
Other foreign nationals included – four Russians, two Koreans, and an Australian, an Irish, an Argentinian and a French.
The plane was piloted by captain Kamal K C and Assistant Captain Anju Khatiwada.
According to Tek Bahadur KC, Chief District Officer of the Kaski district, the plane crashed into the Seti river gorge. Rescue operations are currently being conducted, he was quoted as saying by The Himalayan Times newspaper.
Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ called an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers following the crash.
He expressed sadness over the crash and directed the Home Ministry, security personnel and all the government agencies to carry out immediate rescue and relief operations.