Nepal plane carrying 22 passengers goes missing

TEHRAN, May 29 (MNA) – An aircraft flying from Pokhara to Jomsom in Nepal with 22 people onboard lost contact on Sunday morning, airport authorities said.

"The aircraft was seen over the sky of Jomsom in Mustang district and then had diverted to Mount Dhaulagiri after which it hadn't come into contact," chief district officer Netra Prasad Sharma told ANI, according to Hindustan Times.

“The Nepal home ministry has deployed two private helicopters from Mustang and Pokhara for the search for the missing aircraft. The Nepal Army chopper is also being prepared to be deployed for the search operation,” ANI quoted a spokesperson of the home ministry Phadindra Mani Pokharel as saying.

A Nepali Army Mi-17 helicopter has recently left for Lete, Mustang, which is the suspected crashed region of the missing Tara Air aircraft, said a spokesperson of the Nepali Army Narayan Silwal. 

As per the police officials, the aircraft has been suspected to have crashed in the "Titi" area of Lete in Mustang District.

"Locals from Titi have called and informed us that they have heard an unusual sound as if there was some bang. We are deploying a helicopter to the area for the search operation," Ram Kumar Dani, DSP of the district police office, Mustang, said.

Mustang is one of the mountainous and fifth-largest districts of the Himalayan nation which hosts the pilgrimage of Muktinath Temple. The district, also known as "Land beyond the Himalayas", is located in the Kali Gandaki valley of the Himalayan region of Western Nepal.

In February 2016, the Twin Otter aircraft - operated by Tara Air - crashed in mountainous western Nepal, killing all 23 people on board. The plane was traveling from Pokhara to Jomsom and lost contact with the control tower shortly after taking off.  Most of those on board were Nepalis. 

The plane was carrying three crew and 20 passengers, including one Chinese and one Kuwaiti.

MP/PR

News Code 187316

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