Nepal: Five Indians, among 68, die in crash

53 Nepal citizens are also among the dead after a 72-seat passenger aircraft crashed ahead of its destination, Pokhara International Airport

NEW DELHI | Updated: 15 January, 2023 1:07 pm IST

Five Indians, among the 68 people, died after a 72-seater passenger aircraft operated by Yeti Airlines crashed into the gorge of the Seti river, seven kilometres ahead of its destination – Pokhara International Airport in Nepal.

According to Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesperson of Yeti Airlines, a total of 68 passengers and four crew members were on board the plane that was flying to Pokhara from Kathmandu.

It is learnt that there were five Indians among the passengers who had died in the crash.

The Indian embassy in Nepal shared helpline numbers (+977-9851107021 and +977-9856037699) for the worried families. “The Embassy is in touch with local authorities and is monitoring the situation,” an Embassy official said.

Reports suggested that, apart from five Indians, there were 53 Nepali citizens, five Russians, two South Koreans, four Irish nationals and two Argentinians who lost their lives. One Australian and one French citizen are also among the dead.

Nepal Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, called an emergency Cabinet meeting in the wake of the tragedy. The Prime Minister urged security personnel and the general public to help with the rescue efforts.

Flight data shows the ill-fated Yeti Airlines flight crashed 7 kilometres before Pokhara airport. Landing permission was given by ATC. It appears the plane crashed due to a technical snag, Nepalese authorities say.

Photographs and videos posted on social media showed plumes of smoke billowing from the crash site. The wreckage was on fire and rescue workers were trying to put out the blaze, local official Gurudutta Dhakal told AFP.

“Responders have already reached the scene and are trying to douse the fire. All agencies are now focused on first dousing the fire and rescuing the passengers,” Gurudutta Dhakal said.

In May 2022, a Tara Air plane crashed after air traffic control lost contact with the twin-propeller Twin Otter shortly after it took off from Pokhara. All 22 people on board died in the crash.

In March 2018, 51 people died after a US-Bangla Airlines plane crash-landed near Kathmandu’s international airport.

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