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Plane carrying 72 people crashes while landing in Nepal resort town, dozens confirmed dead

The prime minister asked for the public to assist in rescue efforts.

Published: January 15, 2023 3:48am

Updated: January 15, 2023 3:38pm

A plane carrying 72 people crashed while landing Sunday at a new airport in the resort town of Pokhara, Nepal, killing dozens of people, officials said. 

Rescuers are searching a gorge where the plane crashed near the Seti River, nearly a mile away from the Pokhara International Airport, said district administrative officer Tek Bahadur K. C., The Associated Press reported.

At least 68 people are confirmed dead and rescuers expect to find more bodies, officials said.

"The flames were so hot that we couldn't go near the wreckage. I heard a man crying for help, but because of the flames and smoke we couldn't help him," said local resident Bishnu Tiwari, who came to the crash site to assist in rescue efforts.

Sixty-eight passengers, including 15 foreign nationals, and four crew members were aboard the plane, which was operated by Nepal's Yeti Airlines, according to Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the plane, a twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft, flew from the capital of Kathmandu to Pokhara.

The cause of the accident is not immediately clear. 

Witness Gaurav Gurung told the wire service that he saw the plane violently spinning in the air after attempting a landing before falling nose-first and crashing.

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