Private plane carrying 22 people goes missing

A private plane carrying 22 people went missing en route from the town of Pokhara, 200 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu, to the Jomsom region, Nepal government officials said on May 29. .

It is known that the missing plane was operated by the private airline Tara Air of Nepal. Its aircraft are mainly Canadian-made DHC-6 Twin Otter models.

Earlier, Nepal’s private airline Tara Air confirmed that the Twin Otter plane lost contact with the ground shortly after taking off from the town of Pokhara in western Nepal at 9:55 a.m. local time on May 29 (local time). direction).

Nepal: A private plane carrying 22 people went missing - 1

A Tara Air DHC-6 Twin Otter.

There were 22 people on the plane at that time, including 19 passengers and 3 crew members. Tara confirmed that among these people were 4 Indian nationals and 2 foreign guests of unknown nationality.

Immediately after the Tara Air plane lost contact, the Nepalese Ministry of Interior dispatched a helicopter to search for the missing plane. However, bad weather is hindering this effort.

Interior Ministry spokesman Phanindra Mani Pokharel said bad weather conditions greatly affected the search for the plane.

Erratic weather and rugged mountainous terrain are the main causes of air accidents in Nepal.

The Nepalese government has deployed two private helicopters from Mustang and Pokhara to search for the missing plane, according to a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

Tara Air boasts “the widest network of domestic flights” in Nepal. “No other airline in Nepal flies to STOL (short take-off and landing) areas as widely and as often as we do. We transport essential items domestically, including food grains, medicines, relief materials and operating flights for rescue purposes,” the airline’s website said.

The airline operates a fleet of seven STOL aircraft, including five Twin Otters and two Dorniers. In 2016, a Twin Otter turbofan jet operated by Tara Air crashed west of Myagdi, killing 23 people. In addition to the three crew members, 20 passengers – including one Chinese and one Kuwaiti, were on the flight.

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