Travel blogger posted excited selfie before dying alongside 67 others in plane crash

The first victim of the devastating Nepal plane crash that killed at least 68 people has been pictured. Elena Banduro, 33, posted a smiling selfie moments before

the aircraft plummeted into a gorge and burst into flames in Pokhara. The Russian travel blogger excitedly told her followers on social media about her trip.

Uploading an image of herself on the plane, she wrote: ‘Go to Nepal!’ From Moscow, Elena worked as a social media manager and travelled widely.  Tributes

flooded in for her today on social media, with one naming her ‘the brightest, kindest soul we knew’. Fifteen foreigners and four crew members were among the 72 people on

board the plane, which was attempting to land at a newly-opened airport. Rescuers combed the wreckage on the edge of the cliff and in the ravine below.

It’s currently unclear what caused the tragedy – the country’s deadliest aviation accident in three decades. Three other Russians died on the 27-minute Yeti Airlines

flight, named as Viktoria Altunina, Yuri Lugin and Viktor Lagin. This was confirmed by Russian ambassador to Nepal, Alexei Novikov, who said authorities were supporting

the families of the victims. Other foreigners onboard included five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and

France. Local Bishnu Tiwari, who rushed to the crash site to help the search, said rescue efforts were hampered because of thick smoke and a raging fire that engulfed

the aircraft.