Nepal: A plane with 22 passengers is missing

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LAST UPDATE: 13:58

A Nepalese private airliner with 22 people on board is missing, officials said, adding that search helicopters could not fly to the area where the boat was last spotted due to the clouds.

The Tara Air plane was flying from the tourist city of Pokhara, northwest of the capital Kathmandu, to the city of Jomsom, officials said. Tara Air mainly uses Canadian-made Twin Otter aircraft.

“The passenger plane belonging to Tara Air is being ignored,” Siva Prasad Rijal, a senior local official in the Pokhara area of ​​Gadaki capital, told Xinhua. “It carried 19 passengers and three crew members.”

The aircraft took off from Pokhara Airport at 09.55 am. local time and was expected in Jomsom at 10.20 a.m. However, minutes after takeoff, air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft, Rizal said.

“A search helicopter has returned to Jomsom due to bad weather without locating the aircraft,” Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement. “Once the weather improves, there are helicopters ready to take off for research from Kathmandu, Pokhara and Jomsom. Army and police search teams have already left for the spot.”

According to the airline, the plane was carrying four Indians, two Germans and 16 Nepalese nationals, including three crew members.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pachindra Manny Pocarel said two helicopters had been sent to investigate the area, but visibility was low. “Bad weather can slow down research operations. Visibility is low, you can not see anything,” he said.

Police Officer Prem Kumar Danny said a search and rescue team had been dispatched to the area near Mount Daulagiri, the world’s seventh highest peak at 8,167 meters.

Nepal, home to eight of the 14 highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest, is a country with a history of air accidents. In early 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu crashed during landing, killing 51 of the 71 passengers. In 1992, all 167 passengers on a Pakistan International Airlines flight were killed when the plane crashed on a hill while trying to land in Kathmandu.

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Source: Capital

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