The aircraft, registration 9N-ANC, was carrying 68 passengers and four crew when it crashed into the gorge during a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. No passengers or crew are believed to have survived.
Prior to the crash, the aircraft had been approaching to land at Pokhara Airport. The pilot had requested a change from the assigned runway 3, to runway 1. The request was granted by the airport.
Mobile footage of the crash showed the plane banking extremely sharply as it approached the runway, before hitting the ground in the 300-metre deep gorge of the Seti river, just over a kilometre from the airport. Visibility is believed to have been good, with only a light wind.
The cause of the crash is currently unknown.
A recovery operation is currently underway, with at least 66 bodies now recovered from the wreckage. Identification of the bodies will only begin after all bodies have been collected. However, at least five Indian citizens were confirmed to have been on board, according to a report by the Press Trust of India. An Australian man, Myron Love, is also believed to have been on the plane.
In a statement on Twitter, Yeti Airlines said: “In mourning for the passengers who lost their lives in the accident of Yeti Airlines 9N-ANC ATR-72 500, we would like to inform you that all regular flights of Yeti Airlines for 16th January 2023 have been cancelled. However, emergency and rescue flights will resume.”
There have been 42 fatal plane crashes in Nepal since 1946 – in part due to the country’s exceptionally high mountains. Sunday's crash was the country’s deadliest since 1992, when a Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed near Kathmandu with 167 people aboard.
A Chinese Eastern passenger plane also crashed near Guangxi in March 2022, carrying 132 people..