Searchers say they have given up hope of finding survivors after Nepal’s worst air disaster in decades.

Local official, Tek Bahadur said the chances of finding anyone alive were “nil”. However the plane’s flight data and voice recorders had been found, he said.

There were 72 passengers and crew aboard the Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to the tourist town of Pokhara which crashed on Sunday.

It is unclear what caused the crash.

“We have collected 68 bodies so far. We are searching for four more bodies,” said Mr Bahadur, a Chief District Officer in the Taksi district.

It is the country’s deadliest plane crash in 30 years.

Mobile Phone Footage showed the Yeti Airlines flight rolling sharply as it approached the airport. It then hit the ground in the gorge of the Seti River, just over a kilometre from the airport.

There were 72 passengers and crew on board the flight.

On Monday some 300 rescuers resumed their search, combing through the charred wreckage.

The Prime Minister of Nepal has declared Monday a national day of mourning, and the government set up a panel to investigate the cause of the disaster.

Local Resident, Divya Dhakal told the BBC how she rushed to the crash site after seeing the aircraft plunge from the sky shortly after 11:00am local time (05:15 GMT).

“By the time I was there the crash site was already crowded. There was huge smoke coming from the flames of the plane. And then helicopters came over in no time,” she said.

“The Pilot tried his best to not hit civilisation or any home,” she added. “There was a small space right beside the Seti River and the flight hit the ground in that small space.”

Aviation accidents are not uncommon in Nepal, often due to its remote runways and sudden weather changes that can make for hazardous conditions.

This Himalayan nation, home to some of the most breathtaking mountains in the world, has some of the most difficult terrains to navigate.

A lack of investment in new aircraft and poor regulation has also been blamed in the past.

The European Union has banned Nepalese airlines from its airspace over concerns about training and maintenance standards.

In May 2022, a Tara Air plane crashed in Northern Nepal, killing 22 people. Four years earlier 51 people were killed when a flight travelling from Bangladesh caught fire as it landed in Kathmandu.

BBC / Titilayo Kupoliyi

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