Search resumes for 4 missing from Nepal plane crash that killed 68

Kathmandu, Jan 16 (EFE).- Rescuers Monday resumed a search for four missing passengers from a Nepal plane that crashed a day ago, killing 68 people from the 72 onboard.

The ATR-72 aircraft operated by Yeti Airlines crashed around 10.30 am on Sunday in the Pokhara district, a popular tourist destination around 200 km west of the capital.

Yeti Airlines spokesperson Sudarshan Bartaula said the aircraft carried 68 passengers and four crew members. It crashed while trying to land at the Pokhara International Airport.

The search operation was called off on Monday night due to low visibility

Rescuers reached the crash site early in the morning to search for the four missing and recover the bodies from the plane debris.

Tek Bahadur KC, Chief District Officer of Kaski, told Efe that security persons were trying to pull bodies spotted on Seti River Gorge.

The official said the identified bodies would be handed over to relatives after performing autopsies on them.

The civil aviation body confirmed 68 dead as of Sunday evening.

Local media has reported that around a dozen passengers were foreigners.

Videos on social media showed thick columns of smoke coming out of the accident site.

The Pokhara airport connects Jomsom high up in the Himalayas.

Jomsom is a popular destination for foreign tourists who want to visit Mt Annapurna (8,091 meters) or the Mustang region. It is also a transit hub for Hindu pilgrims.

Nepal, which houses eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Mt Everest, has a poor flight safety record and witnesses accidents frequently.

The country has been criticized and sanctioned due to the lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities, with the European Union denying Nepalese airlines access to its airspace since 2013.

The worst air crash in Nepal in recent years occurred in March 2018, when a Bangladeshi airline AS-Bangla aircraft crashed during landing at Kathmandu International Airport.

The plane carried 67 passengers and four crew members.

The crash killed 51 people, while 20 others survived. EFE

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