An ATR 72 aircraft operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airlines crashed in Pokhara, Kaski, Nepal, on 15 January 2022, according to the daily newspaper The Kathmandu Post.

The aircraft took off from Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu at 10:33am local time and crashed a few minutes before landing between the old airport and the Pokhara International Airport, the newspaper reported, citing Yeti Airlines spokesperson Sudarshan Bartaula.

With registration number 9N-ANC, the aircraft was carrying four crew members and 68 passengers, which included three infants and three children.

At least 68 people were expected to be killed in the crash, making it Nepal’s worst airplane crash in three years, CNN reported.

Following the incident, a five-member probe committee has also been created to investigate the cause of the crash.

They will submit a report to the government within 45 days, the media reported, citing Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Bishnu Paudel.

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Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Twitter: “I am shocked by the news of the plane crash of Yeti Airlines, which was flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara with 68 passengers. I request the government of Nepal to carry out the rescue work immediately after this tragic accident.”

The twin-prop turbojet-powered ATR 72-500 is commonly used by low-cost carriers in the Asia-Pacific region.

It is manufactured by aerospace company ATR.

In a statement, ATR said: “ATR has been informed that an accident occurred in Nepal involving an ATR 72-500. Our first thoughts are with all the individuals affected by this. The ATR specialists are fully engaged to support both the investigation and the customer.”

Yesterday’s aircraft crash marks the second in Nepal in less than 12 months, signalling concerns about aviation safety in the country.

Last May, a Tara Air flight with 22 people on board crashed into a Himalayan mountain at an altitude of 14,500ft.