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Dozens killed as plane crashes near Nepal airport

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Dozens of people have been killed after a plane with 72 people on board crashed near an airport in central Nepal.

The Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to the tourist town of Pokhara crashed on landing before catching fire.

Reports of the death toll are varied. One official put the fatalities at as high as 62, another said at least 29 bodies had so far been recovered.

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Several very critically injured people survived the disaster and were rushed to hospital, local reports said.

The flight set out with 68 passengers on board, including at least 15 foreign nationals, and four crew members.

Of the passengers, 53 are said to be Nepalese. There were five Indian, four Russians and two Koreans on the plane. There was also one passenger each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France, among others.

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Hundreds of Nepalese soldiers are involved in the operation at the crash site in the gorge of the Seti River, just one-and-a half kilometres from the airport.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal called an emergency meeting of his cabinet and urged state agencies to work on rescue operations. A panel to investigate the cause of the crash has been set up.—BBC

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