Sixty-eight persons died after a Yeti Airlines aircraft crashed in Nepal’s Pokhara city on Sunday, the country’s civil aviation authority said.

The plane, which took off from Kathmandu at 10.30 am, had 68 passengers and four crew members on board. Five of them – Abhishek Kushwaha, Bishal Sharma, Anil Kumar Rajbhar, Sonu Jaiswal, and Sanjaya Jaiswal – were Indians, according to PTI.

Four Russian citizens, two from South Korea and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France were also on board the aircraft.

The crash is Nepal’s deadliest aircraft accident in three decades, the Associated Press reported. The reason for the accident was not immediately clear.

The airplane crashed near the Seti river, about 1.6 kilometres away from the Pokhara International Airport.

Rescuers at the site of the accident pulled out bodies from the debris with ropes. Some bodies were charred beyond recognition.

Visuals shared on social media showed plumes of smoke arising from the site of the crash.

A team of rescue officials has been deployed to the site, according to The Kathmandu Times.

Assistant Sub Inspector of Police Rudra Thapa told the newspaper that the bodies have been sent to different hospitals for postmortem.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kumar Dahal set up a committee to investigate the accident. “The incident was tragic,” he said, according to AP. “The full force of the Nepali army, police has been deployed for rescue.”

The Nepal government has told authorities to carry out a technical inspection of all domestic flights following the crash, PTI reported. The government also declared a public holiday on January 16 to mourn the victims.

Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Nepal said that it is in touch with local authorities and is monitoring the situation. It also released helpline numbers for Kathmandu and Pokhara.