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Five Indians Among 67 Confirmed Dead in Nepal Plane Crash

© AP Photo / Niranjan ShreshtaAirport in Nepal
Airport in Nepal - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.01.2023
Nepal's airplane safety record is among the worst in the world. Citing safety concerns, the European Union put the Himalayan nation on the flight safety blacklist in 2013.
A passenger plane with 72 people on board crashed on a runway at Pokhara International Airport in Nepal on Sunday, the aircraft's operator Yeti Airlines said.

Nepal Police official AK Chhetri told reporters that 67 people have been confirmed dead in the crash. While 31 bodies have been transported to hospitals, another 36 were recovered from the river gorge where the plane crashed.

Two Nepalese citizens have miraculously survived the crash but are in critical condition, the Pokhara airport officials said, cited by local media.

Besides a four-member crew, the plane had 68 travelers on board. Among them, 15 were overseas nationals, including 5 Indians.

"53 Nepali, 5 Indian, 4 Russian, One Irish, 2 Koreans, 1 Argentinian, 1 Australian, and a French national were on board," a spokesperson of Yeti Airlines said.

According to the General Manager of Tribhuvan International Airport Premnath Thakur, the aircraft took off from Kathmandu at 10.33 am. The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft was en route to Pokhara from the Nepali capital. The air time between the two cities is 25 minutes.

The aircraft was close to landing in Pokhara before crashing in a gorge near the Seti river. The site of the crash is just two kilometers from the airport.

As it crash-landed, the plane was engulfed in flames before rescue workers rushed to douse the blaze.
A video showing the plane seconds before the crash emerged online.
This isn't the first time an aircraft has crashed in Nepal in recent years.
Last year, all 22 people on board a Tara Air plane were killed when it crashed in the Asian nation. In March 2018, 51 people lost their lives when a US-Bangla Airlines plane crashed at Kathmandu's International Airport.
India's federal Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia paid tribute to the people who lost their lives in the latest incident.
"The loss of lives in a tragic plane crash in Nepal is extremely unfortunate. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the bereaved. Om Shanti," he tweeted.