According to a government official, at least 68 people were killed when a plane crashed near Pokhara in central Nepal on Sunday, the country’s deadliest plane crash in over 30 years.
Yeti Airlines spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula said the ATR 72 plane crashed with 72 people aboard, including four crew members and 68 passengers. According to Nepal’s civil aviation authority, there were 37 men, 25 women, three children, and three infants aboard.
Army spokesman Krishna Prasad Bhandari said the search was suspended after dark and will resume Monday morning. Bhandari mentioned that hundreds of first responders were still looking for the remaining four people before that.
According to the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority, at least one infant was killed.
They said that all four crew members and 53 passengers were Nepalese. The plane carried 15 foreigners, including five Indians, four Russians, and two Koreans. The rest were Australians, Argentinians, French, and Irish.
State media reported that the plane had been flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Nepal’s second-largest city and a gateway to the Himalayas.
Around 10:50 a.m. local time, about 18 minutes after takeoff, the plane contacted Pokhara airport. Then it slammed into the Seti River Gorge nearby. First responders from various police departments and the Nepal Army were dispatched to the crash site and are conducting a rescue operation, according to civil aviation officials.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal expressed his concerns about the situation in a tweet.
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According to the prime minister’s spokesman, the government declared Monday a public holiday to honor the victims.