New Delhi: A 72-seater passenger aircraft on Sunday crashed on the runway at Pokhara International Airport in Nepal. The airport was closed as authorities launched a rescue operation. A total of 68 passengers and four crew members were on board the Yeti airlines aircraft that crashed between the old airport and the Pokhara International Airport, spokesperson of Yeti Airlines Sudarshan Bartaula said, as per The Kathmandu Post.
“We have recovered 29 bodies so far and (we) have also sent some survivors to the hospital for treatment,” Gurudatta Dhakal, the assistant chief official in Kaski district, told news agency AFP.
Rescuers were scouring the crash site near Pokhara International Airport and expected to find more bodies, said Tek Bahadur K. C., a senior administrative officer in the Kaski district, as per the Associated Press.
53 Nepali nationals, five Indians, four Russians, one Irish, two Koreans, one Argentinian, and a French national were on board, as per the Nepal Airport authority.
Purported videos from the crash spot surfaced on social media. Here are some visuals accessed by ABP News.
Visuals from Pokhara International Airport in Nepal where a passenger plane crashed today. #Nepal #NepalPlaneCrash #Kathmandupic.twitter.com/ZMcWanDMVe
— ABP LIVE (@abplive) January 15, 2023
5 Indians Onboard, Indian Embassy Issues Helpline Numbers
As per inputs, the five Indian passengers onboard the flight have been identified as Sanjay Jaiswal, Sonu Jaiswal, Anil Kumar Rajbhar, Abhishek Kushwaha, and Vishal Sharma.
Issuing helpline numbers, the Indian Embassy in Nepal tweeted: “Embassy is in touch with local authorities and is monitoring the situation.”
Helplines of Embassy:I) Kathmandu: Shri Diwakar Sharma:+977-9851107021 II) Pokhara: Lt Col Shashank Tripathi: +977-9856037699Helpline contacts of Embassy:Embassy is in touch with local authorities and is monitoring the situation.N2/2
— IndiaInNepal (@IndiaInNepal) January 15, 2023
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Yeti Airlines’ 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am. Pokhara is a major tourist destination in the Himalayan nation.
While landing at the Pokhara airport, the aircraft crashed on the bank of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport. There were a total of 68 passengers and four crew members, the local reports said.
The Government of Nepal has summoned an emergency meeting of the cabinet following the passenger aircraft crash.
“10 foreign nationals, including 2 infants were on board,” Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesperson of Yeti Airlines, informed.
More details awaited.