Plane with 22 people on board missing in Nepal mountains – NBC4 Washington

Rescuers on Sunday narrowed down a possible location of a passenger plane that went missing in the mountains of Nepal with 22 people on board while it was flying on a popular tourist route, officials said.

Making a scheduled 15-minute flight to the mountain town of Jomsom, the Tara Air plane took off from the resort town of Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Kathmandu. Shortly after takeoff, he lost contact with the airport tower.

Police officer Ramesh Thapa said there was no information about the turboprop Twin Otter plane and a search was underway. An army helicopter and private helicopters were searching for the plane, Nepal’s civil aviation authority said in a statement.

Rescue efforts have been able to pinpoint a possible location for the flight but have not yet been able to visually identify the plane, said a tourism ministry official, who was not authorized to speak to the media, on condition of anonymity.

On board the plane were six foreigners, including four Indians and two Germans, said a police officer, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

It has rained in the area for the past few days, but flights have proceeded normally. Aircraft on that route fly between mountains before landing in a valley.

It is a popular route with foreign hikers trekking the mountain trails and also with Indian and Nepalese pilgrims visiting the revered Muktinath Temple.

According to aircraft tracking data from flightradar24.com, the 43-year-old aircraft took off from Pokhara at 04:10 GMT and sent out its last signal at 04:22 GMT at an altitude of 12,825 feet (3,900 meters).

In 2016, a Tara Air Twin Otter flying on the same route crashed after takeoff, killing all 23 people on board. In 2012, an Agni Air plane also flying from Pokhara to Jomsom crashed, killing 15 people. Six people survived. In 2014, a Nepal Airlines plane flying from Pokhara to Jumla crashed, killing all 18 on board.

In 2018, a US-Bangla passenger plane from Bangladesh crashed on landing in Kathmandu, killing 49 of 71 people on board.

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