Nepal plane goes missing with 22 passengers on board
A plane flying from Pokhara to Jomsom and carrying 22 people went missing on Sunday morning.
The missing plane, operated by Nepal’s Tara Air, was flying from the city of Pokhara to Jomsom, a popular tourist town in central Nepal.
The plane took off at 9.55am local time and lost contact with air control about 12 minutes into the flight which usually take about 20-25 minutes.
Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said that there were 19 passengers and three crew members on board the plane and they believe the incident was caused by poor weather.
Two German nationals, four Indians and 13 Nepali citizens are among the 22 people missing, according to the ministry. The nationalities of two passengers are unknown.
Tara Air mainly flies Canadian-built Twin Otter turboprop planes. Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 said the missing aircraft made its first flight in April 1979.
The Nepalese Army and a land-based search-and-rescue team are in the area near Mount Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh-highest peak at 26,795 feet (8,167 meters).
The country’s weather office said there had been thick cloud cover in the Pokhara-Jomson area since the morning. One search helicopter was forced to return to Jomsom due to the conditions.
Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest, has a record of air accidents. Its weather can change suddenly and airstrips are typically sited in difficult-to-reach mountainous areas.
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