Kathmandu: At least 68 people were killed when a Nepalese passenger plane with 72 people onboard, including five Indians, crashed into a river gorge while landing at the newly-opened airport in central Nepal’s resort city of Pokhara on Sunday, a rescue official said.
Yeti Airlines’ 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am and crashed on the bank of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
“So far, dead bodies of 68 people have been recovered from the crash site,” an official at the Search and Rescue, Coordination Committee of the CAAN told PTI over the phone.
However, the dead bodies are yet to be identified, he added. Efforts are on to recover four more bodies, he said.
Foreign nationals onboard the plane included five Indians, four Russians, two Koreans, an Australian, a French, an Argentine and an Israeli.
There is no information about any survivor so far, said Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesperson at Yeti Airlines.
“The weather in Pokhara was absolutely fine and the engine of the aircraft was also in good condition,” he said.
“We don’t know what has happened to the airplane,” he said.
However, some local media reported that the aircraft took a wider turn while attempting to land, which may have caused the accident. It was a new airport built under a Chinese soft loan and inaugurated just two weeks ago.
The five Indians have been identified as Abhisekh Kushwaha, Bishal Sharma, Anil Kumar Rajbhar, Sonu Jaiswal and Sanjaya Jaiswal.