KATHMANDU, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) — A total of 68 bodies have been recovered after a domestic passenger plane with 72 people on board crashed in Pokhara district in central Nepal on Sunday, and efforts are underway to find four others, officials said.
“We have found 68 bodies so far,” Jagannath Nirula, spokesperson for the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority, told Xinhua.
Ajay KC, police chief of Kaski district where Pokhara is located, told Xinhua earlier that the bodies were found at the crash site in the gorge of the City River, which is more than 200 meters deep.
Brigadier General Krishna Prasad Bhandari, a spokesman for the Nepalese army, said it was difficult to identify many of the bodies because the fire consumed 80 percent of the plane.
He told Xinhua that rescuers are searching for the rest of the bodies.
Nepali soldiers and police officers have also been mobilized to participate in the search and rescue effort.
The Civil Aviation Authority stated in a statement that the ill-fated plane (ATR-72) of Yeti Airlines, took off from Kathmandu heading to Pokhara at 10:30 (local time) and lost contact with the control tower at 10:50 (local time). local time).
The authority stated that there were 68 passengers and 4 crew members on board, and there were 15 foreigners, including 5 Indians, 4 Russians and Koreans, and one person each from Australia, Ireland, Argentina and France.
The general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Prem Nath Thakur, said the plane had obtained permission to land before it crashed into the Seti River gorge.
Thakur told a news conference that the weather was unlikely to be a factor in the accident, as it was “very fine” in Pokhara from early morning, noting that the two pilots did not report technical problems either.
Among the passengers on board were three children and three infants, he said.
The Nepalese cabinet declared national mourning tomorrow (Monday) and decided to set up a committee to investigate the incident, Nepal’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Abdul Khan told Xinhua.
The minister said that the government has also directed airlines to check their planes periodically and obligatory.
In May 2022, a Tara Air passenger plane crashed in Mustang district, Nepal, killing all 22 people on board.