At least 68 killed in Nepal’s worst airplane crash in 30 years

Nepal: 68 confirmed dead after plane crashes during landing

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The Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to the tourist town of Pokhara crashed on landing before catching fire. Videos posted on social media show an aircraft flying low over a populated area before banking sharply.

The passenger list included two infants and 15 foreigners on board, including an Irish citizen, as well as an Australian.

Among 15 foreigners were five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans and one each from Argentina and France.

The low-flying plane ATR-72 twin engine turboprop plane en route from the country’s capital to Pokhara International Airport was seen on the video lurching to the right and apparently overturning as it hit the ground. .

The footage filmed from a terrace included the noise of the moment of impact after the aircraft came down behind the building.

There was an explosion and huge flames at the crash site. Thick smoke rose from the wreckage.

Reports said the aircraft crashed into forested land on the banks of the Seti Gandaki River.

It is believed there were 68 passengers and four crew on board the flight.

Dozens of corpses were pulled out of the wreckage.

“We expect to recover more bodies,” said army spokesman Krishna Bhandari .

”The plane has broken into pieces.”

Flying conditions appeared good at the time the plane came down.

One of those killed in the Nepal plane crash was Moscow travel blogger Elena Banduro, 33, pictured.

She posted excitedly about her latest trip showing her on a plane with the message in English: ‘Go to Nepal’.

Her social media was today full of messages of condolences, and she was described as “the brightest, kindest soul we knew”.

The tragic blogger worked as a social media manager and travelled widely.

Three other Russians died on the flight, named as Viktoria Altunina, Yuri Lugin and Viktor Lagin.

Earlier the Russian ambassador to Nepal, Alexei Novikov, confirmed the death of four compatriots aboard the crashed plane.

“Unfortunately, four citizens of the Russian Federation died,” he said.

“We are in constant contact with the Nepalese authorities and will provide all necessary assistance to the relatives of the dead Russians.”

A spokesman said the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs was aware of reports that an Irish citizen was among the passengers on board.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of reports of the involvement of an Irish citizen in an airplane crash in Nepal, and stands ready to provide consular assistance if requested,” it said.

A South Korean embassy official said: “Two South Koreans are on the list of passengers. We are trying to confirm whether they were actually on board and their identities.”

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

Nepalese Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia tweeted condolences.

The Himalayan country, popular with tourists, has eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest.

Nepal has a record of air accidents but this was the worst for 30 years.

Pokhara International Airport began operations only two weeks ago. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

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