KATHMANDU: Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has called an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers following Sunday’s aircraft crash in Pokhara in which all 72 people on board are feared to have died.
In addition to calling the meeting, Dahal directed the country’s home ministry, security personnel and all the government agencies to carry out immediate rescue and relief operations, The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.
At least 68 people were killed when a Yeti Airlines passenger plane with 72 people on board, including five Indians, crashed into a river gorge while landing at the newly-opened airport in the central resort city of Pokhara.
A twin-engine turboprop ATR 72 plane crashed en route from the Nepali capital of Kathmandu to Pokhara. The Nepalese authorities have tasked a special commission with investigating the causes of the crash. A report is expected in 45 days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief and prayed for the bereaved families of the Nepal plane crash.
“Pained by the tragic air crash in Nepal in which precious lives have been lost, including Indian nationals. In this hour of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families,” PM Modi tweeted.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also expressed grief over the incident and extended his condolences to the victims. “Deeply grieved on hearing about the air crash in Pokhara, Nepal. Our thoughts are with the affected families,” he tweeted.
In a statement issued earlier on Sunday, Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said the flight carrying 68 passengers included, five Indians, four Russians, and one Irish national.
“Nepali Army, Police Force, Airport Rescue, and Fire Fighting and Nepal Police will be informed about the rescue operation. Total number 72 including crew female 25 male 30, standard, white. So far, the death toll is 68,” the statement read. (ANI)