Nepal crash rescuers search for bodies

Searchers have used drones and rappelled down a 200-metre deep gorge in west Nepal to search for two passengers still unaccounted for after the country's deadliest plane crash in 30 years, which killed at least 70 people.

Difficult terrain and inclement weather was hampering rescue efforts on Tuesday near the tourist city of Pokhara, where the Yeti Airlines ATR 72 turboprop carrying 72 people crashed in clear weather on Sunday just before landing.

"There is thick fog here now. We are sending search and rescue personnel using ropes into the gorge where parts of the plane fell and was in flames," Ajay KC, a police official in Pokhara who is part of the rescue efforts, told Reuters.

Searchers found two more bodies on Monday, taking the death toll to 70, before the search was called off because of fading light.

"There were small children among the passengers. Some might have been burnt and died, and may not be found out. We will continue to look for them," KC said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed one Australian was on board.

Multiple media outlets are reporting the man is Myron William Love from Sydney, a 29-year-old casual teacher from Bronte and avid surfer, cyclist, photographer and traveller.

Mr Love's name appears in a passenger manifest of the flight reported by Indian news site Republic World.

A Sydney-based artist using the Instagram handle lesjak_atton posted a photo tribute of Mr Love, describing him as "a truly kind, fun, energetic man we will forever love".

"It is with extreme sadness to say we have lost one of the best humans I have ever known," the Monday post reads.

"Myron was one of the loves of my life. I send all my love to those who need it right now."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Monday tweeted that the crash was "incredibly sad news".

Television channels showed footage of some weeping relatives waiting for the bodies of their loved ones outside a hospital where autopsies are being conducted in Pokhara.

On Monday, searchers found the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the flight, both in good condition, a discovery that is likely to help investigators determine what caused the crash.

Under international aviation rules, the crash investigation agencies of the countries where the plane and engines were designed and built are automatically part of the inquiry.

In the capital Kathmandu about 100 people lit candles at a gathering in memory of the crash victims and called on the government to ensure proper safety standards, witnesses said.

Condolences poured in from around the world, including the Vatican.

"His Holiness Pope Francis sends his condolences to you and to all affected by this tragedy, together with his prayers for those involved in the recovery efforts," Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said in a message to Nepal's president.

The plane, on a scheduled flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, gateway to the scenic Annapurna mountain range, was carrying 57 Nepalis, five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one person each from Australia, Argentina, Ireland and France.

Minutes before the aircraft was to land on Sunday, the pilot asked for a change of runway, a spokesman for Pokhara airport said on Monday.

It was Nepal's deadliest air crash since 1992, the Aviation Safety Network database showed, when a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A300 crashed into a hillside upon approach to Kathmandu, killing all 167 people on board.

Nearly 350 people have died since 2000 in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal - home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Everest - where sudden weather changes can make for hazardous conditions.

The European Union has banned Nepali airlines from its airspace since 2013, citing safety concerns.