Update: At least 68 people have now been confirmed dead after a twin-engine ATR 72 crashed in Nepal on Sunday.
The Yeti Airlines aircraft was carrying 68 passengers, including one Australian, and four crew members, when it went down near a hillside in Pokhara.
— Aishwarya Paliwal (@AishPaliwal) January 15, 2023
A Nepal airport spokesperson said those on board also included five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, one Irish, one Argentinian and one French person.
The ATR72 is manufactured by both Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo. Yeti has a fleet of six, and the aircraft affected, 9N-ANC, was 15 years old, according to FlightRadar24.
Army spokesperson Krishna Prasad Bhandari said, “The aircraft crashed into a gorge, so it is difficult to bring the bodies. Search and rescue is ongoing. No survivors have been found yet.”
Horrifying last moments of an ATR plane crash from Nepal in Pokhara that was bound for Kathmandu. All 72 people on board are dead. pic.twitter.com/4JZIvnThPQ
— Wajahat Kazmi (@KazmiWajahat) January 15, 2023
The flight took off at 10:30 am on Sunday morning and is said to have made final contact with air traffic control at 10:50 am, before crashing seconds later on the banks of the Seti Gandaki river. It was due to land at Pokhara international airport, which had only opened two weeks ago.
It comes after the EU in 2013 banned all Nepali carriers from its airspace over safety concerns.
More to come…