New Delhi: Indian leaders condoled the death of 68 people, including at least 5 Indians, in Nepal's Yeti Airlines ATR-72 plane crash on Sunday.

Taking to Twitter, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said, "The loss of lives in a tragic plane crash in Nepal is extremely unfortunate. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the bereaved. Om Shanti."

This is Nepal's worst plane crash in five years. In the viral video, a plane was seen sharply banking to one side and plummeting to the ground, Five Indians were confirmed dead.

According to Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority, a total of 68 passengers, on board the ATR-72 Yeti Airlines flight which crashed somewhere between the old airport of Pokhara region and the Pokhara International Airport, were dead. This flight carried 68 passengers including five Indians and four crew members, which is 72 in total.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also expressed grief over the incident and extended his condolences to the victims. "Deeply grieved on hearing about the air crash in Pokhara, Nepal. Our thoughts are with the affected families," Jaishankar tweeted.

Meanwhile, Nepal's President Bidhya Devi Bhandari tweeted, "Taking to Twitter, Bhandari said, "I am shocked by the news that Yeti Airlines ATR-72 plane crashed in Pokhara. Expressing my deepest condolences to the passengers and crew members who lost their lives in the accident, I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families."

Earlier, Nepal's Ambassador to India, Shankar Sharma expressed his deep condolences and said that their thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.

The rescue operation is still underway and providing the details about the same, the Indian embassy in Nepal revealed that 5 Indians were also among the victims who lost their lives in the plane crash. In the notice issued by Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority, the incident took place around 11 am.

It further reads, "On 15 Jan 2023, Sunday from Kathmandu at 10:32 am local time for Pokhara, Nepalese 53 foreigners, 5 Indians, 4 Russians, 1 Irish... NYT 691, 9N-ANC plane came into contact with Pokhara Tower at 10:50 am at Neet Beach, and after that, the plane crashed, 9NALX and 9NANA helicopters were mobilized for rescue from Pokhara and Kathmandu and Pokhara airports for search and rescue."

" Nepali Army, Police Force, Airport Rescue, and Fire Fighting, and Nepal Police will be informed about the rescue operation. Total number 72 including crew female 25 male 30, standard, white. So far, the death toll is 68," it added.

The embassy further informed that it was in contact with the local authorities. "We are deeply saddened by the crash of a plane carrying 72 passengers and crew members, including some Indians in Pokhara. We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with all those affected by this tragedy," Shankar P Sharma tweeted.

The India embassy helpline numbers -- Diwakar Sharma: +977-9851107021 for Kathmandu and Lt Col Shashank Tripathi: +977-9856037699 for the Pokhara region -- to help the kin of the deceased Indian passengers.

Meanwhile, the Nepal government declared a day of national mourning tomorrow. The government has also announced that a five-member committee will be formed to investigate the crash.

Newly elected Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane were scheduled to visit Pokhara after the crash but now, the plans have been cancelled according to Dahal's Chief Personal Secretary Ramesh Malla.

Further, the Prime Minister directed Home Ministry, security personnel and all the government agencies to carry out immediate rescue and relief operations.

Previously, a deadly air crash took place in Nepal in May last year in which 4 Indians died. A Tara Air 9 NAET twin-engine aircraft crashed in Kowang village of the Mustang district hours after it went missing in the mountainous district after taking off from Pokhara city.

Mustang is one of the mountainous and fifth-largest districts of the Himalayan nation, which hosts the pilgrimage to Muktinath Temple. The district, also known as 'Land beyond the Himalayas', is located in the Kali Gandaki valley of the Himalayan region of Western Nepal.

The world's deepest gorge that goes down three miles vertically between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountains runs through this district.

Following the crash, an emergency mock drill on a plane crash rescue operation has been conducted at Tribhuwan International Airport in the Nepali capital Kathmandu on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), every internationally recognized airport should conduct a 'full-scale emergency exercise' every two years.