Plane with 22 people on board missing in Nepal mountains

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A small plane flying on a popular tourist route with 22 people on board went missing in the mountains of Nepal, an official said on Sunday.

The Tara Air plane, which was on a scheduled 15-minute flight to the mountain town of Jomsom, took off from the resort town of Pokhara, 200 km east of Kathmandu. He lost contact with the airport tower shortly thereafter.

Police chief Ramesh Thapa said there was no information on the Twin Otter turboprop plane and a search was underway.

There were six foreigners on board the plane, including four Indians and two Germans, a police official said.

A sign for Tara Air is seen as a team of climbers prepare to depart for a rescue operation from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal (Niranjan Shreshta/AP)

It has been raining in the area for a few days but flights are operating normally.

Planes on this route fly between mountains before landing in a valley.

It is a popular route with foreign trekkers who trek the mountain trails as well as Indian and Nepalese pilgrims who visit the revered temple of Muktinath.

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

In 2016, a Tara Air Twin Otter 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 people on board.

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


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