By Anadolu Agency
A local plane carrying 68 passengers and four crew members crashed in Nepal on Sunday morning, officials said.
Fanindra Mani Pokharel, a senior official in Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs told Anadolu that a passenger plane operated by Nepal-based Yeti Airlines crashed close to Pokhara, a popular tourist destination and the administrative headquarters for the Kaski District, which is located 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu.
“The plane had 68 passengers on board,” he said, adding that “a rescue operation is underway in the area.”
The plane also had four crew members on board, according to officials. Social media images and videos show plumes of smoke rising from the crash site.
Local daily Kathmandu Post said the crash occurred in Nepal’s Kaski district and involved a small passenger plane.
Nepal Police spokesman Tek Prasad Rai told Anadolu that police and army personnel have been rushed to the area.
“As per information, there were 72 people on board the plane,” he said, adding that “we are collecting more details.”
Last year, 22 people were killed when a private plane operated by Nepal’s Tara Air crashed shortly after taking off from Pokhara.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal expressed sadness over the “tragic accident of Yeti Airlines ANC ATR 72 which was flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara with passengers.”
“I sincerely appeal to the security personnel, all agencies of the Nepal government, and the general public to start an effective rescue,” he wrote on Twitter.