According to the information, the accident happened about 20 minutes after takeoff from Kathmandu. It has been said by the Pokhara Airport Authority that the Yeti Airlines plane was 10 seconds away from the runway when flames were seen in it. So far 68 bodies have been recovered.
A passenger plane of Nepal (Yeti Airlines Plane Crash) crashed into the Seti river valley on Sunday while landing at Pokhara Airport, killing at least 68 people. A total of 72 people including five Indian nationals were on board the aircraft. These included 10 foreign nationals. Due to darkness, the search operation was stopped till evening on Sunday evening. Nepal’s army will continue the search and rescue operation tomorrow from Monday morning. So far 68 bodies have been recovered from the accident site.
How did the accident happen?
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said that the 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft of Yeti Airlines took off from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu at 10.33 am. While landing at Pokhara airport, the plane crashed on the banks of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport. It has been said by the Airport Authority of Nepal that the accident happened due to a technical fault.
Crash happened 10 seconds before landing
According to the information, the accident happened 20 minutes after takeoff from Kathmandu. Then the plane was only a few kilometers away from the destination. Pokhara Airport Authority has said that Yeti Airlines plane was 10 to 20 seconds away from the runway when flames were seen in the plane. Gyanendra Bhul, information officer at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, said there was no weather problem. Initial information has been received that the plane crashed due to technical reasons.
So far 68 dead bodies recovered, 5 Indians were also aboard
An official of CAAN’s Coordination Committee, Search and Rescue, told PTI over phone that so far 68 bodies have been recovered from the crash site. The official said the bodies were yet to be identified. He also said that efforts are on to recover four more bodies. Apart from five Indians, four Russians, two Koreans, one each from Australia, France, Argentina, Israel were on board the plane. The five Indians on board the plane have been identified as Abhishek Kushwaha, Vishal Sharma, Anil Kumar Rajbhar, Sonu Jaiswal and Sanjay Jaiswal.
Yeti Airlines spokesperson Sudarshan Bartaula said there was no information about any survivors so far. The weather in Pokhara was absolutely fine and the engine of the aircraft was also in good condition, he added. He said that we do not know what happened to the aeroplane. Officials said efforts are on to recover four more bodies.
Declared a day off
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ called an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers after the accident. In a meeting held on Sunday afternoon, it was decided to declare January 16 as a public holiday to mourn the loss of lives in the airline’s plane crash. Prachanda expressed grief over the accident and directed the Ministry of Home Affairs, security personnel and all government agencies to carry out immediate rescue and relief operations.
The government has constituted a five-member inquiry committee headed by Nagendra Ghimire, former secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, to investigate the accident. The government has also directed that there should be strict pre-departure screening of each domestic airline’s aircraft.
Pokhara Pokhara International Airport has been closed for incoming and outgoing flights today following the plane crash. Pictures and videos posted on social media platforms showed plumes of smoke rising from the crash site. Soon after the accident, the police reached the spot and started the rescue operation.
Many plane crashes have happened in Nepal before.
Nepal has a very bad record of plane accidents due to the sudden change of weather and airstrips built in difficult places. The last major plane crash in the country was on May 29 last year when a Tara Air plane crashed in the mountainous Mustang district, killing all 22 people on board, including four members of an Indian family.
Also in the year 2016, a plane of the same airline crashed while flying on the same route, killing all 23 people on board. In March 2018, 51 people died in a plane crash at Tribhuvan International Airport.
In September 2012, a Sita Air plane crashed while making an emergency landing at Tribhuvan International Airport, killing 19 people. An aircraft while flying from Pokhara to Jomsom crashed near Jomsom airport on 14 May 2012, killing 15 people.
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