From Kathmandu to the popular tourist destination of Pokhara, the Yeti Airlines airplane crashed upon landing before catching fire.
Social media videos depict an airplane passing closely above a populated area before abruptly banking.
Officials reported that at least 68 deaths have been officially confirmed. Unconfirmed sources said that some seriously injured survivors were transferred to hospitals.
When she saw the plane fall from the sky shortly after 11:00 a.m. local time, local resident Divya Dhakal told the BBC that she immediately made her way to the disaster site (05:15 GMT).
“The crash site was already crowded when I arrived. The plane’s flames were spewing out a lot of smoke. Helicopters quickly followed after that “She spoke.
She said, “The pilot did his utmost to avoid hitting any homes or civilization.” Right next to the Seti River, there was a small area, and that’s where the plane crashed.
With 68 passengers, including at least 15 foreign nationals, and four crew members, the airplane took off.
The 15-year-old twin-engine ATR 72 stopped broadcasting location data at 05:05 GMT, and the last signal from the aircraft was received at 05:12, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24.
The effort at the crash site in the Seti gorge, approximately 1.5 kilometers from the airport, attracted hundreds of Nepalese soldiers.
According to officials, the search operation has been halted for the day.
The plane’s crash site was captured on video with burning debris and dense, billowing black smoke.
The jet “has split into pieces,” an army spokesman told Reuters, adding that “we anticipate to recover additional bodies.”
In order to expedite rescue efforts, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal convened an emergency meeting of his cabinet. The cause of the crash will be looked at by a panel.
53 of the travelers are reportedly from Nepal. On the plane, there were two Koreans, five Russians, and five Indians. In addition, there was one traveler from each of Ireland, Australia, Argentina, and France.
Because of Nepal’s distant runways and potentially dangerous rapid weather changes, aviation accidents are not rare there.
22 passengers were killed when a Tara Air plane crashed in the Mustang area of northern Nepal in May 2022.
A US-Bangla flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, that was bound for Kathmandu in the beginning of 2018 crashed and caught fire as it was landing, killing 51 people.
Amid worries about the country’s aviation industry’s standards for training and maintenance, the European Union has prohibited Nepalese airlines from operating in its airspace.