A plane with 22 people on board disappeared this Sunday in a mountainous area of Nepalcommunicated the airline Tara Air, also explaining that the difficult weather conditions make search difficult.
“A domestic flight bound for Jomsom that took off in Pokhara (central-west) lost contact,” was the statement given by AFP Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesman for Tara Air. As he also explained that 19 passengers and 3 crew members were on the plane. “We are trying to locate the area where the plane could be found,” Bartaula also added.
The last known location of the plane was at the height of an area near Ghorepani, a town located 2,874 meters above sea level.according to the air authorities.
Two helicopters were mobilized for search operationsBut these will be tricky as weather conditions significantly reduce visibility, Phanindra Mani Pokharel, spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior stated: “Bad weather is likely to hamper the search operation. There is so little visibility that you can’t see anything.”
The Civil Aviation Authority indicated that in addition to helicopters, army personnel, police personnel and members of the Himalayan Rescue Association have been deployed for search operations.
“Right now we can’t say exactly where the plane is and in what condition. There have been no reports from local residents of a large fire or other indications,” said Dev Raj Subedi, a Pokhara airport spokesman.
Jomsom is a popular destination for trekkers in the Himalayas, about a 20-minute flight from Pokhara, which is 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu.
Air transport in Nepal has grown a lot in recent years, thanks to the high number of tourists, a large part of them mountain lovers, and also to trade in remote places that can be accessed in another way.
But this poor country in the Himalayas has a sad balance in terms of security due to poorly trained pilots and aircraft maintenance problems. The European Union has prohibited all Nepalese airlines from accessing its airspace for security reasons.
The country also has very dangerous tracks, located between snow-covered mountains.
In March 2018, a plane from the Bangladeshi company US-Bangla Airlines crashed near Kathmandu airport, killing 51 people.
The most dramatic accident occurred in 1992, when 167 people lost their lives when a Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed near Kathmandu airport.
Two months earlier, a Thai Airways plane had crashed in this same area, killing 113 people.
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