At least 32 people were killed when the plane crashed near Pokhara in central Nepal on Sunday, an airline spokesman said.
Seventy-two people — four crew members and 68 passengers — were on board the ATR-72 flight, operated by Nepal’s Eti Airlines, when it crashed, Eti Airlines spokesman Sudarsan Bardaula said.
Fifty-three passengers and four crew members were from Nepal, the country’s Civil Aviation Authority said. There were fifteen foreigners on board: five Indians, four Russians and two Koreans. The rest are individual citizens of Australia, Argentina, France and Ireland.
The district police and the district administration office are carrying out the rescue operation and hope to save at least a few people, Chief District Officer of Khaski, Tek Bahadur K.C.
He said 32 dead bodies are now at Kandaki Hospital.
The plane was flying from the capital Kathmandu to Pokhara, about 129 kilometers (80 miles) west of the capital, the country’s state media The Rising Nepal reported.
Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said, “I am deeply saddened by the sad and tragic accident.”
“I sincerely request the security personnel, all agencies of the Government of Nepal and the public to start effective rescue operations,” Dahl said on Twitter.
The Himalayan country of Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest. Its weather can change suddenly and airstrips are usually located in difficult-to-reach mountainous areas.
Last May, A Tara Air flight with 22 people on board It crashed into the Himalayas at an altitude of about 14,500 feet. It says it is the country’s 19th plane crash in 10 years and its 10th fatality in the same period. Aviation Safety Network database.
This is a growing story. More to follow.