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.
A total of 68 passengers and four crew members were on board the aircraft.
“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.
AS per PTI report, Of the five Indians who were feared dead in the plane crash in Nepal on Sunday, four were planning to participate in paragliding in the popular tourist hub of Pokhara, a local resident 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.
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.
Among the passengers were three infants, three children.
hPrime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ held an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers following the crash.
The emergency meeting of the council of ministers held on Sunday afternoon has decided to announce a public holiday on January 16 to mourn the victims of the Yeti Airlines plane 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.
The government formed a five-member probe committee under Nagendra Ghimire, former secretary at the ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation, to investigate the accident.