On Sunday, an aircraft that was attempting to land in the city of Pokhara in Nepal, carrying a total of 70 people (68 passengers and 4 crew members) was involved in an accident. According to the airline that was flying the jet and the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, there were at least 68 people who lost their lives.
Yeti Airlines was operating the ATR-72 plane, which was a twin-engine propeller model manufactured more than 15 years ago. The plane was on a flight that took approximately 30 minutes to travel from Kathmandu, the nation’s capital, to Pokhara, a picturesque vacation destination near the Annapurna mountains. Yeti Airlines has issued a statement confirming the news of the disaster and providing the number of passengers and crew members who were on board.
At the accident scene, videos shared on social media showed the jet completely engulfed in flames and thick plumes of smoke. Emergency personnel could be seen attempting to pull casualties from the wreckage of the plane.
According to a statement released by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the accident resulted in the deaths of at least 68 passengers. Yeti Airlines issued a statement in which they referred to the same number.
As of Sunday evening, the Nepal Army said that it has been able to rescue 66 dead from the location. According to Brigadier General Krishna Prasad Bhandari, a spokesperson for the Nepal Army, rescue workers had transported 29 remains to a hospital for identification, and at least 33 victims were still present at the scene.
Tek Bahadur KC, the chief administrator of the district of Kaski, which is where the crash occurred, stated that rescue workers had to struggle to reach the site at first due to all of the smoke, and also because the plane had gone down into a gorge. Tek Bahadur KC stated that the smoke made it difficult for rescue workers to reach the site.
He said that there were hundreds of rescue workers that had been sent to the region, and that these rescue workers were from the Nepal Police, the Nepal Army, and the local community. The aircraft was now in three major parts after it had crashed.
According to the Aviation Safety Network, many people in Nepal depend on tiny aircraft with two engines to get to remote areas of the nation. Unfortunately, in recent years, a number of these planes have been involved in fatal accidents. There are a variety of risks associated with flying in Nepal, including limited vision, quickly changing weather conditions over hilly terrain, and aged fleets.
During a 20-minute trip from Pokhara to Jomsom, which is a famous tourist destination for trekkers, an aircraft that was operated by the Nepali carrier Tara Air and carried a total of 22 passengers and crashed in May of the previous year. There was not a single survivor.
In addition, a second Pokhara-Jomsom aircraft that was flown by Tara Air in 2016 went down soon after takeoff, taking the lives of all 23 passengers and crew members on board.
Tourism is a significant source of foreign currency and income for Nepal, which is one of the least developed countries in South Asia. Tourism is responsible for at least 6.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. More than one million people are now employed by the sector, which is still recovering from the epidemic caused by the coronavirus.
According to the Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority, 53 of the 68 passengers on board the flight on Sunday were from Nepal, five were from India, four were from Russia, two were from South Korea, and one passenger each came from Australia, Argentina, France, and Ireland. The flight originated in Nepal. The four members of the crew were all natives of Nepal.
Sunday morning at around 10:30 local time, Yeti Airlines Flight 691 departed from Kathmandu. It lost touch with the airport in Pokhara around 20 minutes later, according to a statement that was published on Sunday by the Civil Aviation Authority.
According to a spokeswoman for the airline, the jet was meant to arrive at the recently constructed Pokhara International Airport. This airport was developed with the help of a concessionary loan from China in the amount of $216 million. According to him, it was quite close to arriving when it made a crash landing in a canyon close to the Seti River.