Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022
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NEW DELHI: A plane with 22 people on board, including four Indians has gone missing in Nepal. This is what we know so far:
The incident on Sunday morning
The plane involved is a Twin Otter 9N-AET belonging to Nepal’s Tara Air
It took off at 10:15 am from Pokhara, was scheduled to land at Jomsom Airport in the Western mountainous region.
It lost contact with the control tower less than 15 minutes later, close to Ghorepani on the Pokhara-Jomsom air route, aviation sources said.
According to plane tracking data from flightradar24.com, the 43-year-old aircraft 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).
The aircraft was last tracked taking a turn toward the Dhaulagiri Peak, officials said.
According to an air traffic controller at Jomsom Airport, they have an unconfirmed report about a loud noise in Ghasa of Jomsom.
It is suspected that the aircraft crashed in the Dhaulagiri area.
Who were on board
A total of 22 people were on board the Tara Air plane that has gone missing. This includes four Indian nationals from Mumbai, all of the same family.
They have been identified as Ashok Kumar Tripathi, Dhanush Tripathi, Ritika Tripathi, and Vaibhawi Tripathi.
Also on board were two German and 13 Nepali flyers.
The three member crew of the aircraft was led by captain Prabhakar Prasad Ghimire with Utsav Pokhrel as co-pilot and Kismi Thapa as air hostess, My Republica newspaper reported.
The terrain and weather conditions
Nepal has some of the world’s most remote and tricky runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with approaches that pose a challenge for even accomplished pilots. The weather can also change quickly in the mountains, creating treacherous flying conditions.
It has been raining in the Jomsom area for the 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 Nepalese pilgrims who visit the revered Muktinath temple.
The rescue ops
A helicopter that flew from Pokhara in search of the missing aircraft has returned without any success due to bad weather. The weather on Pokhara-Jomsom route is currently cloudy with rainfall, affecting the search, according to the airline’s sources.
The Nepal Army and police personnel have been dispatched to carry out search through land route.
Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand has directed authorities to intensify the search operations for the missing aircraft.
Mustang Chief District Officer Netra Prasad Sharma said that following the instruction from the home minister, security officials of five districts adjoining the Dhaulagiri Peak have been urged to stay alert.
An MI-17 chopper has also been dispatched from Kathmandu to Lete to help in the search operation.
The Indian embassy in Kathmandu has opened an emergency hotline number : +977-9851107021 for information on the missing plane

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