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Yeti Airlines flight crashes in Nepal, at least 40 killed

Aviation Updates Philippines – A tragic plane crash has occurred in central Nepal, leaving many dead and injured. A Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to the tourist town of Pokhara crashed on a landing attempt, catching fire. 

Crash site of the Yeti Airlines plane. Photo from Sagar Raj Timilsina via Reuters.

Flight YT-961 was carrying 72 passengers on-board, including 68 passengers and four crew members.

At least 40 dead have reportedly been found at the accident site, which is barely 1.5 kilometers from the airport and situated in the Seti River's valley.

53 of the passengers are reportedly from Nepal, along with five Indians, four Russians, two Koreans, and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina, and France.

The aircraft made contact with the airport from Seti Gorge at 10:50 AM (UTC+5:45), the aviation authority said in a statement. However, the plane crashed on its attempt to land at the airport.

Videos posted on social media show an aircraft flying low over a populated area before spinning sharply.

Several Nepalese soldiers are helping with the operation at the crash site, which has been cordoned off. More bodies are anticipated to be found, according to an army spokesman who stated that the jet "has broken into pieces."

In order to expedite rescue efforts, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal convened an emergency meeting of his cabinet.

The plane was a 15 year-old ATR 72-212A (500 series) aircraft with registry 9N-ANC manufactured in France. The airline received this specified aircraft in April 2019, according to data from Planespotters.net.

Because of Nepal's remote runways and potentially dangerous rapid weather changes, aviation accidents are not rare there. 22 passengers were killed when a Tara Air plane crashed in the Mustang district of northern Nepal in May 2022. Moreover, a US-Bangla flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, that was bound for Kathmandu in the early part of 2018 crashed and caught fire as it was landing, killing 51 people.

The families of the deceased have been notified, and an inquiry into the crash's cause is ongoing.

Note: This is a developing story.

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