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Home World News Washington Post World News At least 68 dead after plane crash involving 72 planes at Nepal...

At least 68 dead after plane crash involving 72 planes at Nepal airport

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KATHMANDU, Nepal — At least 68 people have died after a Yeti Airlines flight with 72 passengers on board crashed at Pokhara’s new airport, Nepal’s civil aviation authority said on Sunday.

Rescue teams have so far recovered the bodies of 68 people, said Prem Nath Thakur, a spokesman for Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport, who is helping with the response. “We are looking for the remaining four,” he said on Sunday. “The identity of the deceased is not yet known.”

The plane departed Kathmandu around 10:30 am local time on Sunday and was carrying 68 passengers and four crew members to Pokhara, about 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu and a 25-minute flight away. Known for its serene lake at the base of forested mountains, the town is popular with tourists.

The plane crashed as it approached landing, Yeti Airlines spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula said. gives no further information about the cause.

Photos of the scene appeared to show the plane had split into pieces. Broken chunks of the plane’s fuselage — with the airline’s signature colors exposed — lay distorted on the floor of a smoke-filled canyon surrounded by a major rescue operation.

According to a statement from the airline, 53 Nepalese nationals and 15 foreign nationals were on the flight, including five from India, four from Russia, two from South Korea, one from Argentina, one from Australia, one from France and one from Ireland. The nationalities of the confirmed dead were not immediately clear.

According to a statement from Yeti Airlines, which identified the downed plane as an ATR 72, police, military, fire and rescue services at the airport participated in the crash site response.

Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation also announced the establishment of a commission to investigate the crash. The Nepal Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement that two helicopters had also been deployed to the scene of the crash.

ATR, manufacturer of turboprop engine aircraft based in France, tweeted that the accident involved an ATR 72-500 and that its specialists were “fully involved” to support the investigation into the crash. “Our first thoughts are with all individuals affected by this,” the company tweeted. According to ATR’s website, the manufacturer’s model 72-500 seats 68 passengers and has a range of 1,400 kilometers. ATR did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

It was Nepal’s second plane crash in the past year and Pokhara Airport’s first crash since it opened on Jan. 1.

After a meeting of his cabinet, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal declared that Monday would be celebrated as a national holiday to mourn the victims.

In May, 22 people, including six foreigners, died after a Tara Air flight departing from Pokhara’s old airport crashed into the Himalayan mountainside, prompting the government to launch an investigation. The plane was bound for the tourist town of Jomsom in what was expected to take about 20 minutes.





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