Kathmandu, Nepal

A minimum of 68 individuals have been killed Sunday when an plane went down close to the town of Pokhara in central Nepal, a authorities official stated, the nation’s deadliest aircraft crash in additional than 30 years.

Seventy-two individuals – 4 crew members and 68 passengers – have been on board the ATR 72 aircraft operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airways when it crashed, Yeti Airways spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula stated. Thirty-seven have been males, 25 have been ladies, three have been kids and three have been infants, Nepal’s civil aviation authority reported.

Search efforts have been known as off after darkish, Military spokesman Krishna Prasad Bhandari stated, and can resume Monday morning. Tons of of first responders had been nonetheless working to find the remaining 4 people earlier than then, Bhandari stated.

Sunday’s incident was the third-deadliest crash within the Himalayan nation’s historical past, in accordance with knowledge from the Aviation Security Community. The one incidents wherein extra individuals have been killed befell in July and September 1992. These crashes concerned plane run by Thai Airways and Pakistan Worldwide airways and left 113 and 167 individuals lifeless, respectively.

Authorities said 72 people were on board when the plane went down.

The civil aviation authority stated that 53 of the passengers and all 4 crew members have been Nepali. Fifteen overseas nationals have been on the aircraft as properly: 5 have been Indian, 4 have been Russian and two have been Korean. The remaining have been particular person residents of Australia, Argentina, France and Eire.

The plane had been flying from the capital of Kathmandu to Pokhara, the nation’s second-most populous metropolis and a gateway to the Himalayas, the nation’s state media The Rising Nepal reported. Pokhara is positioned some 129 kilometers (80 miles) west of Kathmandu.

The aircraft was final involved with Pokhara airport at about 10:50 a.m. native time. Within the minutes earlier than it tried to land on Sunday, the pilot requested for a change of runway, a spokesperson for Pokhara airport instructed Reuters on Monday.

“The permission was granted. “We don’t ask (why), every time a pilot asks we give permission to vary method,” the spokesperson, Anup Joshi, instructed Reuters.

First responders from the Nepal Military and varied police departments have been deployed to the crash web site and are finishing up a rescue operation, the civil aviation authorities stated in an announcement.

A video clip on social media on Sunday appeared to point out the moments earlier than the plane crashed. The movie, which seems to be taken from rooftop of a home in Pokhara, exhibits the aircraft flying low over a populated space and rolling on its facet earlier than the plane is now not seen within the clip. A loud explosion may be heard on the finish of the video.

CNN can’t independently confirm the authenticity of the clip.

A five-member committee has additionally been fashioned to analyze the reason for the crash. The quintet should submit a report back to the federal government inside 45 days, in accordance with Nepal’s deputy prime minister and authorities spokesperson Bishnu Paudel.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal stated he was “deeply saddened by the unhappy and tragic accident.”

“I sincerely attraction to the safety personnel, all businesses of the Nepal authorities and most people to begin an efficient rescue,” Dahal stated on Twitter.

The federal government declared Monday a public vacation to mourn the victims, a spokesman for the prime minister stated.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin each conveyed their condolences, as did Australia’s ambassador to Nepal.

Nepal’s Yeti Airways stated it was canceling all common flights on Monday, January 16, in mourning for the victims of the crash.

The French Civil Aviation Security company will assist in an investigation the crash, it stated Monday, including that 4 French investigators might be on web site by Tuesday. In the meantime, the Russian Investigative Committee has opened a legal case to ascertain the circumstances of the crash, the company stated in an announcement Monday.

The Himalayan nation of Nepal, residence to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, together with Everest, has a file of air accidents. Its climate can change all of a sudden and airstrips are usually sited in difficult-to-reach mountainous areas.

Final Might, a Tara Air flight carrying 22 individuals crashed right into a Himalayan mountain at an altitude of about 14,500 ft. That was the nation’s nineteenth aircraft crash in 10 years and its tenth deadly one throughout the identical interval, in accordance with the Aviation Security Community database.

The plane concerned in Sunday’s crash was an ATR 72-500, a twin-prop turbojet typically used within the Asia-Pacific area, particularly amongst low-cost carriers. Planes made by ATR, a joint partnership between European aeronautics firms Airbus and Leonardo, usually have a superb fame.

Nonetheless, they’ve been concerned in crashes earlier than. Two ATR 72s operated by the now-defunct Taiwanese airline Transasia have been concerned in lethal crashes in July 2014 and February 2015. The second prompted Taiwanese authorities to quickly floor all ATR 72’s registered on the island.

In whole, the ATR 72’s varied fashions had been concerned in 11 deadly incidents earlier than Sunday’s crash in Nepal, in accordance with the Aviation Security Community.

ATR stated in an announcement Sunday that it had been knowledgeable of the accident.

“Our first ideas are with all of the people affected by this,” the assertion learn. “ATR specialists are absolutely engaged to assist each the investigation and the client.”

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