Air crash in Nepal: An Irish passenger is said to have been on board a flight to Nepal that killed 68 people

Authorities in Nepal said 68 people were confirmed dead after a regional passenger plane with 72 on board, including a reported Irish national, crashed in the resort town of Pokhara.

A government official confirmed to Nepali journalist Rojita Adhikari this afternoon that none of those on board survived the crash.


Locals watch the wreckage of a passenger plane in Pokhara, Nepal, Sunday, January 15, 2023. A passenger plane with 72 people on board has crashed near Pokhara International Airport in Nepal, daily Kathmandu Post reports. The aircraft carried 68 passengers and four crew members. (AP Photo/Yunish Gurung)

“The government has told me that there are no survivors,” she told RTÉ’s This Week radio show.

“There were 72 people on board, 68 passengers and four crew members, and the government said there were no survivors but they had found 68 bodies so far.”

Ms Adhikari said an Irish passport holder was one of 15 foreign nationals who were on the flight.

She said 45 bodies have been taken to the hospital in Pokhara so far, but recovery efforts are slow because the plane crashed into a river in a ravine.

“It’s difficult to take a body from below [at the] River side up,” she added.

Ms. Adhikari The weather in Pokhara this morning was ‘clear’ and the reason for the crash is still unknown.

She added the Nepalese government has launched an investigation that could take up to three days to be released.

There were two infants and four crew members on board the twin-engine ATR 72 plane, airline spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula said. Passengers included five Indians, four Russians and one Irishman, two South Koreans, one Australian, one French and one Argentine.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that it is aware of an incident.

“The Foreign Office is aware of reports of the involvement of an Irish national in a plane crash in Nepal and stands ready to provide consular assistance upon request,” a DFA spokesman said.

The ATR72 is a widespread twin-engine turboprop aircraft manufactured by a joint venture between Airbus (AIR.PA) and the Italian company Leonardo. Yeti Airlines has a fleet of six ATR72-500 aircraft, according to its website.

Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 reported on Twitter that the Yeti Airlines plane was 15 years old.

Yeti describes itself as one of Nepal’s leading domestic airlines on its website.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has called an emergency cabinet meeting after the plane crash.

Hundreds of rescue workers searched the slope where the Jeti Airlines flight from the capital Kathmandu crashed. The weather was clear, said Jagannath Niroula, spokesman for the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority.

Local television showed rescuers scrambling around broken parts of the plane. Part of the ground near the crash site was scorched and flames could be seen.


Crowds gather at the crash site of a plane carrying 72 people in Pokhara, western Nepal January 15, 2023. Phot Sagar Raj Timilsina

“The plane is on fire,” police officer Ajay KC said, adding that rescue workers had difficulty reaching the site in a ravine between two hills near the tourist town’s airport.

The ship made contact with the airport at 10:50 am from Seti Gorge. (05.05 GMT), the aviation authority said in a statement. “Then it crashed.”

“Half of the plane is on the hill,” said Arun Tamu, a local resident who told Reuters he reached the site minutes after the plane crashed. “The other half fell into the gorge of the Seti River.”

Khum Bahadur Chhetri said he watched the plane approach from the roof of his house.

“I saw the plane shaking, moving left and right, and then all of a sudden its nose dived and it went into the canyon,” Chhetri told Reuters, adding that local residents took two passengers to a hospital.


The crash is Nepal’s deadliest since March 2018, when a US Bangla Dash 8 turboprop flight from Dhaka crashed on landing in Kathmandu, killing 51 of the 71 people on board, according to Aviation Safety Network.

At least 309 people have died in plane or helicopter crashes since 2000 in Nepal — home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest — where weather can change suddenly and create dangerous conditions.

Additional coverage from Reuters. Air crash in Nepal: An Irish passenger is said to have been on board a flight to Nepal that killed 68 people

Fry Electronics Team

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