Wreckage of missing Nepal plane with 22 people on board found in mountains

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The wreckage of a plane which went missing with 22 people on board has been found in the mountains of Nepal's Mustang district, the army said on Monday.

Almost 24 hours after it went missing, search and rescue troops were able to "physically locate" the plane’s crash site in Sanosware, Thasang-2, Nepal Army spokesperson brigadier general Narayan Silwal announced on Twitter.

There was no initial confirmation of the fate of the people on board the Tara Air plane.

The army shared an image of the crash site which showed the wreckage of the small aircraft scattered across the mountainside.

“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,” Mr Silwal said.

“Every possible means to reach the site is being considered.”

The Canada-made DHC-6-300 plane with four Indians, two Germans and 16 Nepali people on board took off for a 20-minute flight from the resort town of Pokhara, 200km west of capital Kathmandu, to the mountain town of Jomsom.

The turboprop Twin Otter aircraft lost contact with the airport tower a few minutes after flying over an area of deep river gorges and mountaintops.

Relatives of passengers aboard the Twin Otter plane operated by Tara Air, mourn outside Pokhara airport (AFP via Getty Images)
Relatives of passengers aboard the Twin Otter plane operated by Tara Air, mourn outside Pokhara airport (AFP via Getty Images)

Search efforts resumed on Monday after bad weather hindered the army and other rescue teams from conducting the operation on Sunday.

Patrol units from security forces and groups of locals continued to search on foot despite adverse weather conditions in the Dhaulagiri region, The Himalayan Times reported.

Spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Deo Chandra Lal Karna said five helicopters were ready to help with the rescue process.

The Mustang district in the Himalayan nation is home to the pilgrimage site of the Muktinath temple.

Tara Air operates a fleet of six short take-off and landing STOL aircraft, comprising four Twin Otter (DHC 6/300) and two Dornier (DO 228) aircraft, according to the company’s website.

In 2016, a Tara airlines Twin Otter plane flying the same route had crashed, killing all 23 aboard.

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