Nepal: Plane Crash Kills At Least 68

    Nepal: Plane Crash Kills At Least 68
    Last updated Jan 16, 2023
    Image credit: EPA [via The New York Times]


    • On Sunday, Nepal's civil aviation authority announced at least 68 people were killed after Yeti Airlines Flight 691 crashed near Pokhara airport.[1]
    • The flight, which took off from Kathmandu with 68 passengers and a four-member Nepalese crew on board, reportedly caught fire and crash-landed in a gorge around 11:00 a.m. local time near the Seti River.[2]
    • A spokesperson for the airline stated that the plane was scheduled to land at the newly-constructed Pokhara International Airport, however, contact was lost with air traffic control and the flight crashed just seconds before landing.[3]
    • The cause of the crash remains unknown, but weather conditions were warm and not windy at the time.[4]
    • Rescue teams involving hundreds of respondents from the Nepal Police, the Nepal Army, and the local community are carrying out a rescue operation. Meanwhile, a five-member committee has been formed to investigate the cause of the crash.[5]
    • Sunday's incident was Nepal's deadliest air crash since 1992, when a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A300 crashed into a hillside while approaching Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, killing all 167 people on board.[6]


    Narrative A

    Sunday's accident, unfortunately, highlights Nepal's worrying aviation safety record — particularly for its domestic services, which has experienced 17 plane crashes and 273 deaths since 2000. Remote runways and outdated radars are potentially major factors for pilots navigating challenging terrain.

    Narrative B

    Nepal's rocky and treacherous topography makes it challenging for even the most experienced and accomplished pilots. The cause of Sunday's crash has not been ascertained yet, and it's unfair to blame all of Nepal's air tragedies solely on its infrastructure. The aviation industry and pilots must cope with extraordinary challenges in this terrain, which must always be kept in mind.

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