A plane operated by a private airline in Nepal disappeared this Sunday (29) with 22 people on board. Officials said bad weather was preventing search helicopters from flying to the area of the flight’s last known location.
The Tara Air plane took off from the resort town of Pokhara, about 125 km west of the capital Kathmandu, to Jomsom, about 80 km northwest, officials said.
Flight tracking website Flightradar24 said the missing De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter aircraft with registration number 9N-AET made its maiden flight in April 1979.
“A search helicopter returned to Jomsom due to bad weather without locating the plane,” Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.
“Helicopters are ready to take off in search of Kathmandu, Pokhara and Jomsom once weather conditions improve. Search teams from the army and police left for the scene.”
The airline said the plane was carrying four Indians, two Germans and 16 Nepalese, including three crew. Seven of the passengers were women, he said.
The plane lost contact with the control tower five minutes before its scheduled landing at Jomsom, a popular tourist and pilgrimage site, an airline official said on condition of anonymity.
The country’s meteorological office said there has been thick cloud cover in the Pokhara-Jomson area since morning.
A police official said a search and rescue team had been sent to the area near Mount Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh highest peak at 8,167m.
Nepal, home to eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world, including Everest, has a record for air accidents. Its weather can change suddenly and the airstrips are usually located in mountainous areas that are difficult to access.
In early 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu crashed on landing and caught fire, killing 51 of the 71 people on board.
In 1992, all 167 people aboard a Pakistan International Airlines PIAa.PSX plane died when the aircraft crashed into a hill while trying to land in Kathmandu.
Source: CNN Brasil