At least 16 people were killed when an aircraft crashed in Nepal on Sunday, a Nepal army spokesperson said, as hundreds of rescue workers scoured the hillside crash site.
According to international media reports, “we expect to recover more bodies,” the spokesperson, Krishna Bhandari, said. “The plane has broken into pieces.”
A Yeti Airlines spokesperson, Sudarshan Bartaula, said there were 72 people onboard – 68 passengers and four crew.
“Rescue is under way, we don’t know right now if there are survivor,” Bartaula said.
The plane crashed between the old and new Pokhara airports in central Nepal.
The wreckage was on fire and rescue workers were trying to put out the blaze, local official Gurudutta Dhakal said.
“Responders have already reached there and trying to douse the fire,” Dhakal said. “All agencies are now focused on first dousing the fire and rescuing the passengers.”
The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft was operated by Yeti Airlines and flying from Kathmandu, the Himalayan country’s capital, an airport official said. After news of the crash broke the country’s prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, called an emergency cabinet meeting.
Local television showed thick black smoke billowing from the crash site as rescue workers and crowds of people gathered around the wreckage of the aircraft.