You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

At Least 68 People Killed in Nepal Airplane Crash: 'Half of the Plane Is on the Hillside'

People 1/15/2023 Brenton Blanchet

KRISHNA MANI BARAL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock © Provided by People KRISHNA MANI BARAL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

At least 68 people were killed Sunday when a plane crashed near an airport in Nepal.

Yeti Airlines flight 691, which had 72 people on board including four crew members, came down around 10:50 a.m. local time, per the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority.

Rescue efforts were then made when two helicopters were deployed to the site, with a ground team including the Nepal Army, Armed Police Forces, Nepal Police, and more on-site for the search.

RELATED: 2 Dead, Including a 14-Year-Old Girl, and 1 Missing After Rental Plane Crashes in Gulf of Mexico

BIJAYA NEUPANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock © Provided by People BIJAYA NEUPANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Among those involved in the crash were 15 foreign nationals: five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, one person from Ireland, one from Australia, one from Argentina and one from France, the aviation authority shared. Of those on board, 37 were men, 25 were women, three were children and three were infants, CNN added.

"I am deeply saddened by the sad and tragic accident of Yeti Airlines ANC ATR 72 which was flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara with passengers," Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal wrote in a translated tweet. "I sincerely appeal to the security personnel, all agencies of the Nepal government and the general public to start an effective rescue."

Video shared online appears to show what happened before the plane crashed into the nearby Seti River Gorge. In a clip posted by the BBC, the aircraft can be seen turning sideways as it approached the ground.

After the crash, hundreds of people gathered at the site, as shown in photos. The crowd included rescue workers and civilians overlooking the wreckage, which was filled with smoke, according to reports.

"Half of the plane is on the hillside," resident Arun Tamu told Reuters. "The other half has fallen into the gorge of the Seti River."

Khum Bahadur Chhetri, another local, told the outlet that he watched the plane as it was "trembling, moving left and right, and then suddenly it nosedived, and it went into the gorge."

RELATED: 3 Dead After Small Plane Crashes into Minnesota Home: 'It's Gut-Wrenching,' Says Homeowner

A panel investigating the crash has been set up by the government, with a report expected within 45 days, finance minister Bishnu Paudel said, per Reuters. The plane "cruised at 12,500 feet and was on a normal descent" when it crashed, Reuters reports a Pokhara Airport spokesman stating.

"In mourning for the passengers who lost their lives in the accident of [the flight], we would like to inform you that all regular flights of Yeti Airlines for [Jan. 16] have been cancelled," the airline announced on Twitter Sunday. "However, emergency and rescue flights will resume. We apologize for the inconvenience caused."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The plane involved in the crash was an ATR 72-500, which is often used in the Asia-Pacific region, per CNN, which cited the Aviation Safety Network.

"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 company tweeted. "The ATR specialists are fully engaged to support both the investigation and the customer."

Read the original article on People

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon