KATHMANDU (NEPAL)- At least 68 people onboard the Yeti Airlines reported died in an airplane crash in Pokhara, Nepal on Sunday morning (15/01/2023).
Yeti Airlines frontman, Sudarshan Bartaula said the twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft carrying 72 people included four crew members and 68 passengers from the capital Kathmandu, Nepal with destination to Pokhanda reported a crash at 10.50 am on Sunday morning.
Six children and three infants were on board the flight. 15 foreign nationalities including Indian, Russian, Irish, Korean, Australian, French, and Argentinean were also on the same plane as well.
The Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority reported that 68 people in this plane crash suspected died, and there are no survivors have been found so far.
“Five bodies have been identified by using the DNA of the body for identification, while the rest are still under investigation,” they added.
The flight bound for Pokhara International Airport operated by Yeti Airlines crashed about 10 minutes before landing at its destination.
Only 20 minutes after the plane took off from Kathmandu, 129 kilometers southeast of Pokhara.
The plane went down into the gorge of the Seti River in Pokhara after the plane vibrated and swayed to the right and left. The other half of the plane’s body has fallen to the hillside.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said “The incident was tragic, the full force of the Nepali army and police has been deployed for rescue”.
He called an Emergency Cabinet Meeting in wake of the crash to follow up on this terrible incident five member of the committee has been also formed to investigate the cause of the crash.
“The crash was supposed because of a mechanical fault,” The Aviation Authority’s statement said.
Nepal declared one day of this incident as a national holiday. The Pokhara International airport was also closed due to this accident.
Local television reported the condition of the plane with 80% burned and thick black smoke swelling from the crash site.
Hundreds of rescue teams including Nepal’s army and police still working to search for the victims and assisted by local residents. They are scrambling around broken parts of the airplane.
They find difficulties when removing the victim’s body because the plane was badly damaged. Some of the ground at the crash site was charred by the fire.
Army spokesman Krishna Prasad Bhandar said, the search operations are terminated and will continue on Monday morning.