68 confirmed dead after Nepal plane crash

Nepal's military said 68 people have been confirmed dead after a passenger plane crashed near a popular tourist spot at the foot of the Himalayas.

The country's aviation authorities said the plane carrying 72 passengers and crew members went down on Sunday morning, local time, on its way from the capital Kathmandu to Pokhara in central Nepal.

Domestic carrier Yeti Airlines operated the flight.

The aircraft is believed to have crashed in a gorge about 3 kilometers from Pokhara airport.

Footage from the site shows firefighters working in the wreckage of the aircraft amid billowing plumes of black smoke.

The mountainous country has a long history of air accidents.

The latest crash occurred as tourists and climbers started to return after the coronavirus pandemic dealt a severe blow to Nepal's tourism industry.

The airline officials said 15 foreign nationals, such as Indians, Russians and South Koreans, were among the passengers on the flight.