Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022
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Missing Nepal Plane | Burning Wreckage Of Plane Carrying 22 People Including 4 Indians Spotted: Report

The plane was carrying four Indian, two German, and 13 Nepali passengers besides a three-member Nepali crew.

Missing Nepal Plane | Burning Wreckage Of Plane Carrying 22 People Including 4 Indians Spotted: Report
Representative image of flight. PTI

The burnt-out wreckage of the Nepali passenger plane that went missing earlier on Sunday in Western Nepal has been spotted in Mustang district that borders Tibet, as per Nepal's state-run media. 

The Rising Nepal newspaper reported Nepali Army's Major General Baburam Shrestha as saying that the aircraft was spotted in a burning state in upper area of Thasang Rural Municipality-2 in Mustang district.

The fates of passengers and crew were immediately not immediately known.

Earlier on Sunday, a Nepali Army helicopter located and landed near the probable site of crash of the Tara Air plane, which went missing in Western Nepal's mountains within 15 minutes of taking off from the popular tourist destination of Pokhara.

The helicopter carrying 10 soldiers and two employees of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal landed on the bank of a river near the Narshang Monastery, the possible site of the crash, according to My Republica newspaper. 

The plane, which took off at 10:15 am with 22 people, was last known to be in the sky above Ghorepani in Western Nepal, according to aviation sources. Ghorepani is on the route from Pokhara to Jomsom where the plane was headed. 

The authorities found the location by tracking the phone of the plane's captain which is still ringing, as per the My Republica report.  

The Twin Otter 9N-AET belongs to Nepal's Tara Air  and was carrying four Indian, two German, and 13 Nepali passengers besides a three-member Nepali crew, according to the airline spokesperson.

The Indian embassy in Nepal confirmed the incident in a post on Twitter and shared that rescue operations are on. It added that it's in touch with the family of four Indian nationals.

The air traffic controller at Jomsom Airport said they have an unconfirmed report about a loud noise in Ghasa of Jomsom.

Nepal's My Republica newspaper quoted DSP Ram Kumar Dani of Mustang as saying that it is suspected that the aircraft crashed in the Dhaulagiri area.

A helicopter that flew from Pokhara in search of the missing aircraft returned without any success due to bad weather. The weather condition at Pokhara-Jomsom route is currently cloudy with rainfall, affecting the search, according to the airline's sources.

It has been raining in the area for past few days but flights have been operating normally. Planes on that route fly between mountains before landing in a valley. It is a popular route with foreign hikers who trek on the mountain trails and also with Indian and Nepali pilgrims who visit the revered Muktinath temple.

Nepali Army and police personnel are also engaged in the rescue operations, accordint to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.

An MI-17 chopper has also been dispatched from Kathmandu to Lete to help in the search operation. 

Tara Air is the newest and biggest airline service provider in Nepal's mountains, according to the airline website. It started business in 2009.

(with inputs from PTI) 

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