Plane Crash in Nepal kills 68


Anish Bhattari

Wreckage of the plane

Nikolai Burchell, Staff Writer

Monday, January 16th, 2023. 68 people were killed when an aircraft went down near the city of Pokhara in central Nepal, a government official reported. With a total of 72 passengers, this means that a large majority of the aircraft tragically perished in the crash itself. Thirty Seven men, 25 women, 3 children, and three infants are the demographics of the victims, as reported by Nepal’s civil aviation authority. The plane crash is reportedly the third worst in the history of the small Himalayan nation.

The aircraft had been en-route to Pokhara from the capital Kathmandu to Pokhara, the second largest city in the country, and a gateway to the enormous Himalayas, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world, and home to the tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest. Pokhara is located approximately 80 miles west of Kathmandu, as reported by the nation’s state media: “The Rising Nepal.” 

The plane was last in contact with Pokhara airport at about 10:50 AM local time. In the time before the plane attempted to land on January 16th, the pilot asked the control for permission to change the runway they were scheduled to land on, reported by a spokesperson for the Pokhara airport. The permission was reportedly granted, as the airport does not typically ask “why” whenever a pilot asks for permission to adjust their approach.

When the plane crashed, immediately first responders from the Army of Nepal and various police departments deployed to the crash site to carry out a rescue operation, and to assess the crash, as well as to survey the crash site for signs of life. Currently, the final death toll is believed to be accurate, but it is always subject to change should new survivors be located in the wreckage.

A five member committee has been formed for the purpose of investigating the cause of the crash. The quintet must collect enough data to send a report to the Nepalese government within 45 days, as reported by Nepal’s deputy prime minister and government spokesperson Bishnu Paudel The French Civil Aviation Safety agency said that it will aid in investigating the crash as well.

Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin both conveyed their condolences for the victims, as did Australia’s ambassador to Nepal. Nepal has reported that it will work hard in order to determine the cause of the crash, and make whatever changes are necessary to ensure something like this never happens again.