A Yeti Airline’s plane with 72 people, including 68 passengers and 4 crew members crashed while landing at the Pokhara International Airport in Nepal on January 15, 2023. The plane crashed between the old airport and the Pokhara International Airport, Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesperson of Yeti Airlines mentioned. The ATR 72 aircraft, which was flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara was carrying two infants, four crew members and 10 foreign nationals, Sudarshan Bartaula. Now an unconfirmed video has surfaced online showing the final moments of the plane before the crash.
As seen in the video captured by a local resident from a building nearby the airport, the plane wearing green and white livery of Yeti Airlines can be seen approacing the Pokhara Airport runway. The plane is at an approach angle with the tail downwards, but soon banks hard on the right almost at 90 degrees, before it disappears behind another building.
Nepal has a poor air safety record due to the harsh terrain and usage of smaller aircrafts. Air accidents are not uncommon in Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest, as the weather can change suddenly and make for hazardous conditions.
Local television showed thick black smoke billowing from the crash site as rescue workers and crowds of people gathered around the wreckage of the aircraft. The plane was 15 years old, according to flight tracking website FlightRadar24.
The ATR72 is a widely used twin engine turboprop plane manufactured by a joint venture of Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo. Yeti Airlines has a fleet of six ATR72-500 planes, according to its website.
Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has called an emergency cabinet meeting after the plane crash, a government statement said.
With Reuters inputs
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