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Nepal Army locates site where plane with 22 onboard crashed; rescue team pulls out 14 bodies

A Nepalese army helicopter and private choppers were taking part in the search, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal had said in a statement.

Written by Yubaraj Ghimire | New Delhi |
Updated: May 30, 2022 5:24:24 pm
The site of the Tara Air crash. (Photo: ANI)

The twin otter aircraft operated by Tara Air that met with an accident has been located in Thasang area of Mustang district. The rescue team has pulled out bodies of 14 people from underneath the wreckage, Nepali media reports revealed.

Nepal Army, that has been coordinating and leading the search operation, said it has been located at Thasang 2 area, and “with the weather getting better, the search team will soon be reaching there”.

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The rescue operations were suspended on Sunday due to bad weather. A Nepalese army helicopter and private choppers were taking part in the search, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal had said in a statement.

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A nepalese army helicpoter conducting recue operations.

But bad weather and nightfall caused the search to be suspended until Monday morning, Narayan Silwal, the army spokesman said. “Poor visibility due to bad weather is hindering the efforts. The plane has not yet been located,” he said.

According to plane tracking data from flightradar24.com, the 43-year-old aircraft took off from Pokhara at 9:55 a.m. (04:10 GMT) and transmitted its last signal at 10:07 a.m. (04:22 GMT) at an altitude of 12,825 feet (3,900 meters).

The Tara Air plane was on a 20-minute scheduled flight from the resort town of Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Kathmandu, to the mountain town of Jomsom. The turboprop Twin Otter aircraft lost contact with the airport tower close to landing in an area of deep river gorges and mountaintops.

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Bad weather and nightfall had stalled the operations on Sunday.

There were six foreigners on board the plane, including four Indians and two Germans. The Indians on board have been identified as Vaibhavi Bandekar, Ashok Kumar Tripathy, Dhanush Tripathy and Ritika Tripathy.

According to local police in Thane, Ashok and Vaibhavi were separated but had travelled with their two children to Nepal to visit the Muktidham temple, a Vaishnavite shrine about 18 km away from Jomsom airport where the aircraft was headed.

Apart from the four Indians, the flight was carrying two Germans, 13 Nepalis and three crew members, including the pilot Prabhakar Ghimire, who is said to be one of the most senior instructors in the country with “long experience in flying in mountainous and hilly zones”.

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First published on: 30-05-2022 at 07:59:24 am
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