An aircraft crashed in Nepal, causing at least 68 deaths, the country's worst flying disaster in 30 years.

Sherif Saad
Airplane CrashPhoto byBOLIEK MEDIA/UnsplashonUnsplash

Kathmandu, Nepal CNN — It was the worst plane disaster in Nepal in more than 30 years, with at least 68 people losing their lives when their jet went down on Sunday near the city of Pokhara in the country's central region.

An ATR 72 airliner flown by Nepal's Yeti Airlines crashed with 72 people on board, including four crew members and 68 passengers, according to Yeti Airlines spokesperson Sudarshan Bartaula. Nepal's civil aviation authorities recorded 37 males, 25 females, 3 children, and 3 babies.

According to Army spokesperson Krishna Prasad Bhandari, search operations were suspended at night and will resume on Monday morning.

Bhandari added that at the time, hundreds of rescue workers were still trying to find the missing four people. According to Nepal's aviation authorities, the victims include at least one newborn.

According to information from the Aviation Safety Network, the tragedy on Sunday was the third-worst accident in the history of the Himalayan country. In July and September of 1992, there were only two events with greater fatalities.

There were a total of 113 and 167 passengers killed in two separate plane catastrophes involving Thai Airways and Pakistan International Airlines.

According to the Nepalese civil aviation authorities, all 54 people on the flight were from Nepal. On board were a total of fifteen non-native speakers, including five Indians, four Russians, and two Koreans.

The remainder were different people who happened to be Australian, Argentine, French, or Irish. According to Rising Nepal, the plane was headed from Kathmandu, the nation's capital, to Pokhara, the country's second-most populous city and a gateway to the Himalayas.

West of Kathmandu, 129 kilometers (80 miles) away, is where you'll find Pokhara. Around 18 minutes after departure, at 10:50 a.m. local time, the jet lost communication with Pokhara airport. It crashed in the Seti River Gorge after that. Civil aviation officials stated in a statement that they had sent first responders from the Nepal Army and other police agencies to the disaster scene.

On Sunday, a short video clip purported to show the last minutes before the plane crashed. The footage, which was shot from the rooftop of a Pokhara home, shows the jet flying low over a busy area and tumbling on its side before disappearing from view.

By the conclusion of the clip, you can hear an explosion. CNN has not been able to confirm the video's validity.

There is also a five-person commission looking into the crash's origins. Bishnu Paudel, the deputy prime minister and government spokesman of Nepal, has said that the five-person team has 45 days to deliver a report to the government.

The Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, expressed his "deep sadness" at the "sad and terrible disaster." On Twitter, Dahal pleaded with the security forces, the Nepali government, and the people to launch a rescue operation.

A spokeswoman for the prime minister said that Monday will be a national day of mourning for the deaths. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russia's Vladimir Putin, and Australia's envoy to Nepal have all sent their sympathies.

As a mark of respect for the victims of the plane tragedy, Yeti Airlines of Nepal announced on Monday, January 16, that all of its regularly scheduled flights will be canceled.

Nepal, which has eight of the world's fourteen highest mountains (including Everest), has a checkered history of aviation disasters. Airstrips are often located in inaccessible hilly areas, and the weather may change quickly.

A Tara Air aircraft carrying 22 passengers crashed into a Himalayan mountain in May at an estimated height of 14,500 feet. According to the statistics maintained by the Organization for Transportation Safety (OTS), it was the 19th aircraft disaster in the nation during the previous decade and the 10th fatal crash.

The plane that went down on Sunday was an ATR 72-500, a type of twin-prop turbojet popular in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly among budget airlines. Aircraft manufactured by ATR, cooperation between European aeronautics giants Airbus and Leonardo, has a solid reputation.

Nevertheless, they are not strangers to mishaps. In July 2014 and February 2015, two ATR 72s flown by the defunct Taiwanese airline Transasia crashed, killing dozens of people. After the second incident, all ATR 72s with a Taiwanese registration was temporarily grounded.

Before Sunday's tragedy in Nepal, the Aviation Safety Network reported 11 fatal accidents involving ATR 72s of several types.

In a statement released on Sunday, ATR confirmed that it had been made aware of the incident.

First and foremost, our sympathies are with everyone who has been impacted by the tragedy," the statement stated. Both the investigator and the client have the full assistance of our ATR experts.

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