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Nepal Plane Crash: PM Modi Says “Precious Lives Lost, Including Indians”

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the devastating plane crash in Nepal that left 68 people dead on Sunday. The plane was carrying about 72 people from capital Kathmandu crashed in Pokhara this morning, news agency AFP said, quoting the police.

“Pained by the tragic air crash in Nepal in which precious lives have been lost, including Indian nationals. In this hour of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families,” Prime Minister Modi wrote on Twitter tagging the Prime Minister of Nepal.

Pained by the tragic air crash in Nepal in which precious lives have been lost, including Indian nationals. In this hour of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. @cmprachanda @PM_nepal_

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 15, 2023

The plane caught fire as it crashed, and rescue workers were trying to put it out, a local official was quoted as saying.

Those on board the ATR 72 twin-engine turboprop aircraft that plummeted into a steep gorge, smashed into pieces and burst into flames in the central city of Pokhara included six children, officials said.

15 foreign nationals, and six children, were on board. 53 Nepali, 5 Indian, 4 Russian, 2 Koreans, 1 Argentinian, and one each from Ireland, Australia, and France were in the plane, the airlines said in a statement.

“We don’t know right now if there are survivors,” the airline’s spokesperson Sudarshan Bartaula told news agency AFP.

Nepal’s airline business has been plagued with concerns around safety, and inadequate training of staff. The European Union has since 2013 put Nepal on the flight safety blacklist, ordering a blanket ban on all flights from the Himalayan country into its airspace, after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flagged safety concerns.

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