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Nepal. A plane crashed in the Himalayas. 44 people have died so far

disaster in the Himalayas
A plane with 68 passengers crashed in Nepal. 44 victims have already recovered

Rescuers and witnesses gather at the plane crash site in Pokhara

© Krishna Mani Baral / AFP

A plane carrying dozens of people crashed shortly before landing in Pokhara, Nepal, for initially unknown reasons, 44 bodies have been found so far. This is not the first accident in the mountainous region.

A passenger plane with dozens of people in it crashed in the city of Pokhara, Nepal. A police spokesman in Pokhara told the German Press Agency on Sunday that 44 bodies had been recovered so far. “We don’t know at this point if there are any survivors,” a Yeti Airlines spokesman told AFP on Sunday. Among the 72 people on board are 68 passengers and four crew members.

The cause of the crash was initially unknown

About 300 police and additional members of the army are on the ground for rescue operations, the spokesman said. The plane crashed on Sunday morning on the route from the capital Kathmandu-Pokhara, shortly before landing. Apart from the Nepalese, there were also Indians, Russians, Koreans and one person each from Ireland, Argentina and France on the plane, reports the Indian news agency ANI, citing airport authorities.

Videos and photos posted on social media showed plumes of smoke and flames at the scene of the alleged crash. The cause of the accident was initially unknown.

Safety standards in Nepal’s air transport are low due to inadequate staff training and poor vehicle maintenance. The European Union has therefore banned all Nepalese airlines from entering its airspace. In addition, the Himalayan state is home to some of the most remote and challenging runways in the world. In the mountains of Nepal, the weather can change quickly, creating dangerous flying conditions.

Not the first plane crash in the region

Pokhara is about 200 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu and is the starting point for many treks in the Himalayas, including the Annapurna region. The Annapurna range is a popular trekking region in the country. Several plane crashes have occurred in the mountainous region.

Last year, 22 people, including 2 Hessi, died in a Pokhara-Jomsom flight crash. In March 2018, a plane operated by US-Bangla Airlines of Bangladesh crashed near the international airport of the capital Kathmandu, killing 51 people. The worst plane crash in Nepal happened in 1992. At the time, a Pakistan International Airlines plane had 167 people killed when it crashed near Kathmandu airport.

The Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, expressed his grief and ordered the security forces, all government institutions of Nepal and local residents to help in security operations.

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