According to airline officials, a small passenger plane operated by a private airline in Nepal went missing on Sunday with 22 people on board, including four Indians.
They said the Tara Air 9 NAET twin-engine aircraft lost communication while travelling from Pokhara, a tourist destination 200 kilometres northwest of Kathmandu, to Jomsom, some 80 kilometres northwest.
At 9:55 a.m. local time, the aircraft, which was on a 15-minute scheduled flight, lost contact shortly after take-off.
“The aircraft was seen over the sky of Jomsom in Mustang district before diverting to Mt. Dhaulagiri, where it did not come into contact,” according to the report. Netra Prasad Sharma, Chief District Officer
The plane was carrying four Indians and three Japanese nationals. According to State Television, the remaining passengers were Nepalese citizens, and the plane had 22 passengers, including the crew.
According to police officials, the plane crashed in the “Titi” area of Lete in the mountainous Mustang district, which is the Himalayan nation’s fifth-largest district and home to the Muktinath Temple pilgrimage.
“Locals in Titi have contacted to say that they heard a strange sound, as if there had been a bang. We’re sending a helicopter to the region to help with the search “Mustang District Police Office DSP Ram Kumar Dani.
Two private helicopters have been dispatched by the Nepalese government from Mustang and Pokhara to look for the missing plane. According to Phadindra Mani Pokharel, spokeswoman for the Home Ministry, a Nepal Army chopper is also being prepped to be sent for the search.
Tara Air claims to have Nepal's "widest domestic flight network." "No other Nepalese airline flies as extensively and frequently to the distant STOL (short takeoff and landing) sectors as we do. We transfer vital goods to the hinterlands, such as food grains, medicines, and relief supplies, and we fly rescue missions "According to the airline's website.
The airline has a fleet of seven short-takeoff and landing aircraft, including five Twin Otter (DHC 6/300) and two Dornier (DO 228) aircraft.
With fluctuating weather and airstrips in hazardous highland settings, Nepal, home to the world’s highest peak, has a history of mishaps on its huge domestic air network.
Tara Air’s Twin Otter turboprop aircraft crashed in the western area of Myagdi in 2016, killing 23 passengers.
Aside from the three crew members, the ill-fated flight carried 20 passengers, one of which was a Chinese national and the other a Kuwaiti national.
Stay Connected with us!