Kathmandu: At least 68 people were killed when a Nepalese passenger plane with 72 people on board, including 10 foreigners, crashed into a river gorge on Sunday while landing at the Pokhara airport and eight bodies have been recovered, according to media reports.
A total of 68 passengers and four crew members were on board the aircraft.
"So far, dead bodies of 68 people have been recovered from the crash site," an official at the Search and Rescue Coordination Committee of the CAAN told PTI over the phone.
However, the dead bodies are yet to be identified, he added. Efforts are on to recover four more bodies, he said.
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, Republica newspaper reported.
The passengers included 10 foreigners, according to the state-run Nepal Television.
According to Tek Bahadur KC, Chief District Officer of the Kaski district, the plane crashed into the Seti river gorge. Rescue operations are currently being conducted, he was quoted as saying by The Himalayan Times newspaper.
Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' called an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers following the crash.
He expressed sadness over the crash and directed the Home Ministry, security personnel and all the government agencies to carry out immediate rescue and relief operations.
Images and videos posted on social media platforms showed plumes of smoke billowing from the crash site.
Nepal has had a fraught record of aviation accidents, partly due to its sudden weather changes and airstrips located in hard-to-access rocky terrains.
The last major air accident in Nepal happened on May 29 when all 22 people onboard, including four members of an Indian family, were killed as a Tara Air plane crashed in Nepal's mountainous Mustang district. (With PTI inputs)
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