On Sunday, an ATR 72 aircraft operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airlines crashed near the city of Pokhara in central Nepal, resulting in the country’s deadliest plane crash in over 30 years. The aircraft, which was carrying a total of 72 passengers and crew members, went down in the nearby Seti River Gorge.
According to Nepal’s civil aviation authority, 68 people were killed in the crash, including 37 men, 25 women, 3 children, and 3 infants. Search efforts were halted after dark and were set to resume the following morning. The incident was the third-deadliest crash in Nepal’s history, with the only incidents resulting in more deaths occurring in July and September of 1992.
The aircraft had been flying from the capital of Kathmandu to Pokhara, the country’s second-most populous city and a gateway to the Himalayas. The plane was last in contact with Pokhara airport at around 10:50 am local time, 18 minutes after takeoff. First responders from the Nepal Army and various police departments were deployed to the crash site and carried out a rescue operation.
A video clip on social media appeared to show the moments before the aircraft crashed, showing the plane flying low over a populated area and rolling on its side before the aircraft is no longer visible in the clip. A loud explosion can be heard at the end of the video.
In another video, the airplane can be seen flying very low over a highly populated area.
The authenticity of the videos could not be confirmed by SDGLN.COM.
A five-member committee has also been formed to investigate the cause of the crash and must submit a report to the government within 45 days, according to Nepal’s deputy prime minister and government spokesperson Bishnu Paudel. Among the dead were 53 Nepali passengers and crew members, as well as 15 foreign nationals from India, Russia, South Korea, Australia, Argentina, France, and Ireland.