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Crashed Nepal Plane With 22 People On Board Found On Side Of Mountain

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Crashed Nepal Plane With 22 People On Board Found On Side Of Mountain

The plane carrying 22 people that disappeared over the weekend has been found crashed on a mountainside, the army has confirmed.

The small twin-engine aircraft went missing in the mountainous region of Mustang, Nepal, on Sunday, 29 May.

At the time, authorities confirmed that it had lost contact with the plane not long after it had taken off while flying over a mountain range.

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Among those onboard were 22 passengers - 16 Nepali people, two Germans and four Indians - including three crew members, who were taking the 20-minute journey from Pokhara to Jomsom.

A search team used a helicopter to scan the area after reports that it had gone missing, while a number of patrol units went on foot to look for the aircraft.

Bad weather had halted the search overnight, but an army helicopter and private choppers resumed the search today, 30 May, morning.

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And almost 24 hours after the plane disappeared, an intense rescue mission has seen troops locate the plane's wreckage.

However, at the time of writing, there was no news on the number of fatalities.

Writing on Twitter, Narayan Silwal, spokesperson for Nepal's Army, said: "Search and rescue troops have physically located the plane crash site. Details will be followed.

"Lt Mangal Shrestha, police inspector and a guide have already reached the site. Other rescue team members from different agencies are trying to reach the sites using small helicopters.

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"Every possible means to reach the site is being considered."

It has been raining in the area for the past few days but flights have been operating normally.

Planes taking that route fly between mountains before landing in a valley.

It is a popular route with foreign hikers who trek on the mountain trails, as well as with with Indian and Nepali pilgrims visiting the Muktinath temple.

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The Tara Air plane has been found on a mountainside. Credit: Tara Air
The Tara Air plane has been found on a mountainside. Credit: Tara Air

According to plane tracking data from flightradar24.com, the 43-year-old aircraft took off from Pokhara at 0410 GMT and transmitted its last signal at 0422 GMT at an altitude of 12,825ft (3,900 metres).

Speaking about the incident over the weekend, Ram Kumar Dani, DSP of District Police Office, said: "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."

The aircraft is said to have last had contact at 9.55am, with Chief District Officer Netra Prasad Sharma telling ANI: "The aircraft was seen over the sky of Jomsom in Mustang district and then had diverted to Mt Dhaulagiri after which it hadn’t come into contact."

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In 2016, a Tara Air Twin Otter flying the same route crashed after take-off, killing all 23 people aboard, while four years ago, a US-Bangla passenger plane from Bangladesh crashed on landing in Kathmandu, killing 49 of the 71 people aboard.

LADbible has contacted Tara Air for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter @NaSpokesperson/ Alamy

Topics: News

Dominic Smithers
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