External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has expressed grief over the death of 68 people in Yeti Airlines plane crash in Nepal. “Deeply grieved on hearing about the air crash in Pokhara, Nepal. Our thoughts are with the affected families,” the External Minister tweeted. Over 67 people were killed after a passenger aircraft crashed on the runway at Pokhara International Airport this morning. The rescue and relief operations are currently underway.
A total of 72 passengers including five Indians were onboard at the time of incident. The Nepal government has formed five-member commission of inquiry to probe the crash. The government has also declared a one-day national mourning on Monday.
Five Indians have been identified as Abhisekh Kushwaha, Bishal Sharma, Anil Kumar Rajbhar, Sonu Jaiswal and Sanjaya Jaiswal. The Indian Embassy in Nepal is in touch with the local authorities and is monitoring the situation. In a tweet, Indian Embassy said, “An ATR-72 plane of Yeti Airlines crashed today near the Pokhara Airport while flying from Kathmandu. According to the info provided by Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, 5 Indians were travelling on this flight. Rescue operations are underway.”
Meanwhile, Ambassador of Nepal to India Dr Shankar P Sharma has exprssed condolences to families of deceased. In a a tweet, Sharma said, “We are deeply saddened by the crash of a plane carrying 72 passengers and crew members, including some Indians in Pokhara. We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with all those affected by this tragedy.”
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the Yeti Airlines’ 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am and crashed on the bank of the Seti River during the time of landing at the Pokhara International airport at around 11 am.
According to flight tracking website FlightRadar24, the twin-engine ATR 72 Yeti airlines aircraft was 15 years old. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has expressed sadness over the crash and directed the Home Ministry, security personnel and all the government agencies to carry out immediate rescue and relief operations. The airport is closed for the time being.