At least 68 people were killed on Sunday when a domestic flight crashed in Pokhara in Nepal, the country’s Civil Aviation Authority said, in the worst air crash in three decades in the small Himalayan nation, Reuters reported.
Hundreds of rescue workers were scouring the hillside where the Yeti Airlines flight, carrying 72 people from the capital Kathmandu, went down.
Local TV showed rescue workers scrambling around broken sections of the aircraft. Some of the ground near the crash site was scorched, with licks of flames visible.
The crash is Nepal’s deadliest since 1992, the Aviation Safety Network database showed, when a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A300 crashed into a hillside upon approach to Kathmandu, killing all 167 people on board.
The plane made contact with the airport from Seti Gorge at 10:50 a.m. (0505 GMT), the aviation authority said in its statement. “Then it crashed.”
Police official Ajay K.C. said rescue workers were having difficulty reaching the site in a gorge between two hills near the tourist town’s airport.
The government has set up a panel to investigate the cause of the crash and it is expected to report within 45 days, the finance minister, Bishnu Paudel, told reporters.
Search operation halted
Meanwhile, the search operation has been halted for today and bodies are yet to be retrieved, the local Army officials said.
Yeti airlines cancel flights
Furthermore, Nepal’s Yeti airlines have cancelled regular flights for January 16, according to the Reuters.
In the meantime, the Nepal government has instructed concerned authorities to conduct a technical inspection of all domestic flights after a Nepalese passenger plane with 72 people on board, including five Indians, crashed into a river gorge while landing at the newly-opened Pokhara airport.
In the wake of the flight crash, the Nepal government has also declared a day of national mourning tomorrow. The government has also announced that a five-member committee will be formed to investigate the crash.
Although Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s & Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane were about to make a visit to the airport, later, the Nepal Secretariat announced that the visit has been cancelled.
Look at major aviation accidents of recent years (by ANI)
May 30, 2022: A Tara Air DHC-6 Twin Otter crashed in the Mustang region of Nepal, killing all 22 people on board.
March 21, 2022: A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane crashed in the mountains of Guangxi near Guangzhou, China, leading to the tragic loss of all 133 people on board.
January 9, 2021: A Boeing 737, operated by Sriwijaya Air, crashed into the Java Sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta. All 62 people on board, including seven children and three babies, were killed.
August 7, 2020: An aircraft of Air India crashed at the Kozhikode (Calicut) International airport in Kerala. The plane coming from Dubai had overshot the runway at Kozhikode airport and later broke into pieces. There were 186 people onboard the ill-fated aircraft. A total of 21 people, including pilot and co-pilot, were killed in the mishap.
May 22, 2020: An Airbus A320, belonging to Pakistan International Airlines, carrying 97 passengers and eight members of crew crashed in Pakistan’s Karachi. It is considered to be one of the most catastrophic aviation disasters in the country’s aviation history.
January 8, 2020: A Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed shortly after taking off from the Iranian capital Tehran, killing all 176 passengers and crew members on board. The incident happened took place amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran, and the Iranian government eventually admitted it had downed the plane “unintentionally”.