Missing Nepal aeroplane with 22 aboard reportedly found after crash

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Missing Nepal aeroplane with 22 aboard reportedly found after crash

Tribhuvan International Airport chief says status of the plane yet to be ascertained

Topics


Nepal | airplane crash | Kathmandu

BS Web Team  | 
New Delhi 

Last Updated at May 29, 2022 17:42 IST

A 43-year-old plane operated by a private airline in mountainous Nepal has been found after it went missing Sunday morning with 22 people on board, a report said.

News agency ANI report quoted an online news website to say the aircraft was detected Kowang, Mustang. The chief of Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport was quoted by ANI as saying that the status of the plane is yet to be ascertained.

“Tara Air flight 9NAET that took off from Pokhara at 9.55 AM today with 22 people onboard, including 4 Indians, has gone missing. Search and rescue operation is on. The embassy is in touch with their family. Our emergency hotline number :+977-9851107021,” the Indian embassy in Nepal tweeted.

The plane has four Indian nationals, two Germans and 13 Nepali passengers besides a three member Nepali crew, said Sudarshan Bartaula, a spokesperson for Tara Air. The airline issued the list of passengers which identified four Indians as Ashok Kumar Tripathi, Dhanush Tripathi, Ritika Tripathi, and Vaibhawi Tripathi.

The three member crew of the aircraft was led by captain Prabhakar Prasad Ghimire. Utsav Pokhrel is the co-pilot while Kismi Thapa is the air hostess, My Republica newspaper reported, quoting Pokhara Airport Information Officer Dev Raj Adhikari.

The aircraft was scheduled to land at Jomsom Airport in the Western mountainous region at 10:15 am. The aircraft lost contact with the tower from the sky above Ghorepani on the Pokhara-Jomsom air route, PTI reported quoting aviation sources.

The plane lost contact with the control tower five minutes before it was due to land at Jomsom, a popular tourist and pilgrimage site, an airline official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 said the missing De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter aircraft with registration number 9N-AET made its first flight in April 1979.

The country’s weather office said there had been thick cloud cover in the Pokhara-Jomson area since the morning. Police official Prem Kumar Dani said a land rescue-and-search team had been sent to the area near Mount Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh-highest peak at 8,167 m (26,795 ft).

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.

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 plane were killed when it ploughed into a hill as it tried to land in Kathmandu.

(With inputs from agencies)

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