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Plane Crash in Nepal: Deadliest passenger plane crash in 30 years, 68 bodies have been found

 

The twin-engine ATR-72 was found that day near the resort town of Pokhara, central Nepal, and its fuselage had broken into several sections. At present, it is reported that a total of 68 bodies of air victims have been found at the crash site.
The twin-engine ATR-72 was found that day near the resort town of Pokhara, central Nepal, and its fuselage had broken into several sections. At present, it is reported that a total of 68 bodies of air victims have been found at the crash site.

Nepalese authorities said Sunday (Jan. 15) that a passenger plane carrying 72 people crashed on the same day while preparing to land at the newly opened international airport in the central resort town of Pokhara, and 68 bodies have been found at the crash site just 1.6 kilometers from the airport. It was Nepal’s deadliest plane crash in 30 years.

Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said the ATR-72 twin-engine airliner, operated by Yeti Airlines, took off from the capital Kathmandu to Pokhara that morning, a journey of just 27 minutes, making last contact with the ground at 10:50 a.m., and then crashed in the Seti River gorge. The crashed flight carried 68 passengers and 4 crew members, including 15 foreigners. Five of the foreign passengers were Indians, four Russians, and two South Koreans, and the remaining four were from Australia, Ireland, Argentina, and France.

The Associated Press reported that rescuers used ropes to pull the remains of the air victims out of the wreckage at the crash site. Part of the wreckage hangs over the edge of the canyon. Some of the remains have been taken to hospital by firefighters. Many grieving family members have gathered in hospitals.

It is unclear why the passenger plane crashed.

A local witness said he saw from his home spinning in the air after trying to land, falling head down to the left, and then crashing into a canyon that caught fire and smoke.

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Images and videos shared on Twitter showed rescuers, soldiers, and crowds gathering around the wreckage of the airliner looking for survivors. The fuselage of the airliner has been broken into multiple knots and scattered in the canyon.

Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal rushed to Pokhara airport immediately after the plane crash and set up a team to investigate the accident. He said the Nepalese army and police had been deployed to rescue the tragic accident.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that efforts were being made to confirm the fate of the two South Korean passengers and that relevant personnel had been sent to Nepal.

The ATR-72 twin-engine airliner has been used by several airlines around the world for short-distance flights. The aircraft was put on the market in the late 1980s by a French-Italian joint venture and has had several crashes. In 2018, an Iranian airline’s ATR-72 twin-engine airliner crashed in a foggy mountainous area, killing 65 people on board.

The crash was Nepal’s worst since 1992. A Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed into a hillside at Kathmandu airport while preparing to land that year, killing all 167 people on board.

Nepal’s crashed ATR-72-500 is reportedly 15 years old and was purchased by Yeti Airlines in 2019. Previously, the aircraft was owned by airlines in India and Thailand. Yeti currently operates six ATR-72-500 passenger aircraft.

Located 200 km west of the capital Kathmandu, Pokhara is the entrance to the Annapurna Ring Road, a well-known hiking trail in the Himalayas. Pokhara International Airport, which opened just two weeks ago, was financed by China.

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