Dozens killed in Nepal plane crash after aircraft plummets into river gorge

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Bystanders film aftermath of Nepal plane crash that killed at least 68

Bystanders filmed the aftermath of a plane crash that killed at least 68 people in Nepal on Sunday. (Reuters)

At least 68 people were killed Sunday when a plane crashed into a river gorge in Pokhara, the country's Civil Aviation Authority announced.

The plane, a Yeti Airlines flight carrying passengers out of the capital of Kathmandu, was carrying 72 passengers in total. Four remained unaccounted for as of Sunday morning.

"Half of the plane is on the hillside," a local resident who saw the site told Reuters. "The other half has fallen into the gorge of the Seti river."

The crash is Nepal's worst aircraft disaster since 1992, when a plane carrying 167 people crashed near the capital, killing all on board.

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A general view of people gathered after the plane crash in Pokhara, Nepal January 15, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media. Naresh Giri/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. (Reuters Photos)

SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB: Members of Nepal Army carry the body of the victim of a plane crash at the crash site of an aircraft carrying 72 people in Pokhara in western Nepal January 15, 2023. (REUTERS/Rohit Giri) (Reuters Photos)

"I saw the plane trembling, moving left and right, and then suddenly its nose dived and it went into the gorge," another witness told the outlet.

Rescue and recovery efforts were hampered thanks to the location of the crash, with first responders struggling to operate on steep hillsides.

The plane took off from Kathmandu at 10:32 a.m. local time and checked in again at 10:50 a.m. before crashing. Its flight path typically takes 30 minutes.

The passenger list included 53 Nepalese citizens, five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, one Australian, one Argentinian, one Irish and one French, Nepalese authorities said

A general view of people gathered after the plane crash in Pokhara, Nepal January 15, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media. (Naresh Giri/via REUTERS) (Reuters Photos)

Rescuers work at the site of a plane crash in Pokhara, Nepal January 15, 2023, in this screen grab taken from a handout video. (ANI/Handout/via REUTERS) (Reuters Photos)

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First responders are working to recover the plane's recording equipment and do not at this time know the cause of the crash. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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