Rescuers Close to Plane that Crashed in Nepal with 22 aboard

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Rescuers zeroed in on a possible location of a passenger plane with 22 people aboard that is feared to have crashed Sunday in cloudy weather in Nepal’s mountains, officials said.

Tara Air, on a scheduled 20-minute flight from Kathmandu to Jomsom, launched from Pokhara (200 km/125 mi) east. Nearly landing in the area of river gorges deep and mountains, the turboprop Twin Otter aircraft lost touch with its tower.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, both an army helicopter and private choppers participated in the search.

According to Narayan Silwal (the army spokesperson), the rescue team and troops of the Army were heading to Lete in Mustang to search for the site of the accident.

“Poor visibility due to bad weather is hindering the efforts. The plane has not yet been located,” he said. Silwal said that rescuers had been trying to find an area in which locals had reported seeing a fire. However, it was not clear what kind of fire the firefighters were seeing. Silwal stated that the officials could only confirm the information when they reach the area.

Tara Air spokeswoman Sudarshan Barktaula stated that it may be necessary to suspend the search until nightfall. “Rescuers have narrowed down a possible location of the plane, but have not found any sign of the aircraft,” he said.’s plane tracking data indicates that the 43-year old aircraft left Pokhara at 04.10 GMT. At an elevation of 12,825 feet (3,000 meters), it transmitted its last signal to ground at 04.22 GMT.

There were six foreigners on board the plane, including four Indians and two Germans, according to a police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media.

Bartaula claimed that 19 people were on board and three others worked aboard the aircraft.

Although it has been pouring for several days, flights continue to operate normally. This route allows planes to fly over mountains and then land in valleys.

This route is popular with tourists who hike on the mountains and with Indian and Nepalese pilgrims, who go to the Muktinath temple.

2016 saw the death of 23 passengers and crew members on a Tara Air Twin Otter that was flying along the same route. A second AgniAir plane, also travelling from Pokhara, to Jomsom, crashed in 2012 killing fifteen people. Six people survived. Six people survived the crash of a Nepal Airlines plane on its way from Pokhara, Nepal, to Jumla in 2014. All 18 passengers were killed.

48 of the 71 passengers aboard a US-Bangla passenger aircraft from Bangladesh died when it crashed into Kathmandu in 2018.

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