An airplane crashed in Nepal on Sunday, killing at least 40 people, according to a spokeswoman for the Nepali army as hundreds of rescuers searched the accident scene on a mountainside.
According to the spokeswoman, Krishna Bhandari, “We anticipate recovering more bodies.” The airplane has disintegrated into fragments.
72 persons, including 68 passengers and 4 staff members, were on board, said to Sudarshan Bartaula, a spokesperson for Yeti Airlines. The international nationals on board were one Australian, one French, one Argentinian, four Russians, five Indians, two South Koreans, and one passenger from Ireland, according to an airport official.
Moments of Nepal air crash— Neha Mehta (@IamNehaMehta) January 15, 2023
Plane with 72 people onboard crashes at the runway of Nepal’s Pokhara International Airport, rescue operation under way. #BreakingNews #Nepal #pokhra #NepalPlaneCrash pic.twitter.com/C2gPPvAjEJ
Rescue efforts are ongoing; at this time, we are unsure of the number of survivors, Bartaula said.
In the center of Nepal, between the old and new Pokhara airports, a plane crashed.
Rescuers were working to put out the fire caused by the burning wreckage, according to local official Gurudutta Dhakal.
Responders have already arrived and are putting out the fire, according to Dhakal. “At this time, the priority for all agencies is to put out the fire before rescuing the passengers.”
According to an airport official, the twin-engine ATR 72 plane was being flown by Yeti Airlines out of Kathmandu, the capital of the Himalayan nation. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the nation’s prime minister, convened an emergency cabinet meeting as soon as news of the tragedy broke.
In recent years, Nepal’s aviation sector has flourished, transporting commodities and people to remote locations as well as international trekkers and climbers.
However, it has suffered from poor safety as a result of inadequate maintenance and training. Due to safety concerns, the European Union has forbidden all Nepali carriers from using its airspace.
The Himalayan nation also features some of the most difficult and isolated runways in the world, with approaches that are difficult for even experienced pilots.
Aircraft operators claim that Nepal lacks the infrastructure necessary to provide reliable weather forecasts, particularly in the isolated Himalayan regions where fatal incidents have previously occurred.
In the mountains, the weather can sometimes change suddenly, making it dangerous to fly.