At least 68 people were killed when a passenger plane crashed into a jetty in central Nepal, authorities said Sunday.After taking off from the country’s capital Kathmandu, Yeti Airlines Flight 691 was bound. For the newly opened Pokhara International Airport when it came down, Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.
A total of 72 people, including four crew members, were on board and 68 bodies were found at the crash site, the statement said. Among them were 15 foreign nationals, including five Indians, four Russians. Two from South Korea and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France.
It was not immediately clear what caused the plane to crash. Flight tracking website Flightradar24 reported on Twitter that the ATR 72-500 aircraft was 15 years old.
Separately, Dahal has formed a panel to investigate the accident, the Associated Nepal Press reported. “The incident is sad.
Photos and videos shared on social media showed smoke billowing from the crash. Site as rescue workers, Nepali soldiers and crowds of people gathered around the wreckage.
“Half of the plane is on the hillside,” resident Arun Tamu told Reuters, who said he arrived at the scene minutes Nepal after the plane landed. “The other half has fallen into the gorge of the Seti River,” he said.
Khum Bahadur Chhetri, who witnessed the plane crash from his home. Told the news agency that local residents took the two passengers to hospital.
Pokhara, located 125 miles west of Kathmandu, is the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit, a popular hiking trail in the Himalayas. Pokhara International Airport became Nepal operational just two weeks ago.
The aircraft’s manufacturer, ATR, tweeted that its experts. Were “fully engaged in supporting both the investigation. And the customer.”
“Our first thoughts are with all those affected by this.”
Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest, has a history of plane crashes. About 350 people have died in the accident since 2000. Sudden weather changes can create dangerous conditions.
It would be Nepal’s deadliest crash since 1992, when all 167 people on board. A Pakistan International Airlines plane plunged into a mountai. While attempting to land in Kathmandu.
Last year, 22 people died when a plane crashed into a mountain in Nepal. In 2018, a US-Bangla passenger plane from Bangladesh crashed while landing in Kathmandu. illing 49 of the 71 people on board.
The European Union has banned Nepalese airlines from its airspace since 2013, citing security concerns.