King says UK stands in solidarity with Nepal over ‘heart-breaking’ plane crash

The King has sent his condolences to the President of Nepal following the “heart-breaking” plane crash in Pokhara, describing it as a “time of immeasurable sorrow”.

Charles said the UK stood in solidarity with the people of Nepal, and that both he and the Queen Consort were “truly shocked” to hear of the “utterly tragic loss of life”.

Seventy-two people were killed on Sunday when the Yeti Airlines flight plummeted into a gorge while on approach to the newly opened Pokhara International Airport in the foothills of the Himalayas.

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Charles wrote in a message to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari: “Dear Madam President, My wife and I were truly shocked to learn of the utterly tragic loss of life following the plane crash in Pokhara on Sunday and wanted you to know that our special thoughts and prayers are with you and the people of Nepal at this time of immeasurable sorrow.”

“We have been deeply saddened by this heart-breaking incident and, however inadequate it may be, we particularly wanted to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to all the bereaved families and to those who have lost their loved ones.”

Nepal Plane Crash
French investigators inspect the wreckage of the passenger plane at the crash site, in Pokhara, Nepal (Yunish Gurung/AP/PA)

Charles also recalled his visits to Nepal with affection.

“I remember with the greatest fondness my visits to Nepal and the many remarkable Nepalis I have met both there and around the world.” he said.

“And I know that Nepal is held in the highest regard by many people in the United Kingdom who stand in solidarity with your country at such a time of national mourning.

“Please be assured that you have our most resolute support.”

Nepal Plane Crash
The wreckage of the passenger plane (Yunish Gurung/AP/PA)

The message was signed “Charles R”.

The cause of the accident has not yet been established.

The twin-engine ATR 72-500 aircraft was flying from the capital, Kathmandu, to Pokhara, 125 miles to the west, when it crashed into a gorge as it was approaching the airport.

The crash is Nepal’s deadliest since 1992, when a Pakistan International Airlines plane ploughed into a hill as it tried to land in Kathmandu, killing all 167 people on board.