A plane carrying 22 people was reported missing over a mountainous area in Nepal, airline Tara Air announced on Sunday. “Contact was lost with a domestic flight heading to Jomsom from Pokhara,” said Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesman for the Kathmandu-based company.
The twin-engine Twin Otter had taken off from the city of Pokhara, in central western Nepal, at 9:55 a.m. (4:10 a.m. GMT) before losing radio contact. Three crew members and 19 passengers are on board the aircraft, he said. Phanindra Mani Pokharel, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said two helicopters were dispatched for the search operations.
But visibility was poor, he added. “Bad weather could slow down search operations. Visibility is so low, you can’t see anything,” he said. Jomsom, known as a starting point for trekkers in the Himalayas, is a 20-minute flight from Pokhara, the country’s second largest city, 200 km west of the capital Kathmandu.