At least 68 people died after a commercial aircraft plunged into the ground near a tourist town in Nepal.
The shocking incident took place near Pokhara, a city known for its scenic resorts, where ATR 72 Yeti Airlines flight came to an abrupt end as the twin-engine regional airliner nosedived suddenly despite clear weather.
According to the reports, the plane was traveling from the capital of Kathmandu when the accident took place.
The authorities have since confirmed that rescue operations are underway and that at least 68 out of 72 people on board were killed in the crash.
Among the victims were also 15 foreign nationals many of whom were presumably visiting the Himalayan country for tourist purposes.
The police also said the plane was burning after the crash as they insisted it was hard for rescue teams to reach the aircraft because it crashed in a gorge between two remote hills.
“Half of the plane is on the hillside. The other half has fallen into the gorge of the Seti river,” Arun Tamu, a local, told REUTERS.
Meanwhile, Khum Bahadur Chhetri told the publication that he was on the roof of his home when the plane passed over the city.
“I saw the plane trembling, moving left and right, and then suddenly its nose dived and it went into the gorge,” he said.
As airport officials have since confirmed, some 15 foreigners – including four Russians, five Indians, two South Koreans, one Australian, one Irish, one French, and one Argentinian – were on board the plane.
“The loss of lives in a tragic plane crash in Nepal is extremely unfortunate. My thoughts & prayers are with the families of the bereaved,” Nepal’s Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said.
The accident marks the deadliest plane crash in the country in the last five years. It currently remains under investigation and the cause is yet to be determined.
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