Two US citizens and two lawful permanent US residents were among those killed in the tragic Yeti Airline plane crash in Nepal Sunday, the State Department confirmed Wednesday.
Spokesperson Ned Price confirmed that the four citizens and American residents were on board, but did not reveal their identities.
“Our thoughts are with the families of those on board. The United States stands ready to support Nepal in any way we can at this difficult hour,” Price said at the start of a Wednesday press briefing.
In initial reports, there was no mention that Americans had been on board Nepal’s deadliest plane accident in 30 years.
There were 68 passengers — including those from India, Russia, South Korea, Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France — and four crew members in the plane when it plummeted into a gorge during a landing at the newly opened Pokhara International Airport in the foothills of the Himalayas. None survived.
There is little known about the cause of the crash. Conditions were good and clear and co-pilot Anju Khatiwada had more than 6,400 hours of flying time, but Nepal is known to be a challenging place to fly.
Nepalese authorities are sending the flight’s data recorder to France as part of the investigation.
Video taken inside the plane captured smiling passenger Sonu Jaiswal moments before the tragic collision. The camera appears to show the plane tilt, sending many passengers screaming, before the vessel erupts in flames.
Another video taken from the ground shows the flight make a dramatic turn sideways as it barrels toward the ground, but out of the camera’s view, followed by a massive boom and several shrieks of horror.