Nepal Aircraft with 22 passengers, including 4 Indians goes missingtext_fields
New Delhi: Tara Air aircraft, a private passenger plane, carrying 22 people including crew members went missing shortly after take-off. Officials stated that the aircraft which included 4 Indian lost contact with the control tower 15 minutes after taking off from the tourist city of Pokhara at 9.55 AM.
According to airline spokesperson, the Twin Otter 9N-AET aircraft had 4 Indians (from Mumbai), 2 Germans and 13 Nepali passengers on board and was scheduled for arrival at Jomsom Airport in the Western mountainous region at 10:15 am.
According to NDTV, Aviation sources have said that the aircraft lost contact with the tower from the sky on the Pokhara-Jomsom air route above Ghorepani.
Unconfirmed reports have been received about a loud sound in Ghasa of Jomsom, an air traffic controller at Jomsom Airport said.
Two private helicopters from Pokhara and Mustang have already been deployed by the government for the search mission. Spokesperson at Home Ministry Phadindra Mani Pokharel told ANI over the phone that the Nepal Army chopper is also being dispatched.
Tara Air has the "widest domestic flights network" in Nepal. "No other airline in Nepal flies to the remote STOL (short takeoff and landing) sectors as extensively and frequently as we do. We transport essential supplies to the hinterlands, including food grains, medicines, relief materials and operate flights for rescue purposes," according to the airline website.
Because of Nepal's changeable weather and airstrips at difficult mountain locations, the country does have a record of accidents on its domestic air networks.
In 2016, a fatal accident involving Tara Airline operated Twin Otter turboprop aircraft crashing in the western district of Myagdi, left 23 people dead including 20 passengers and 3 crew members.