A small passenger plane is missing in Nepal with 22 people on board


A small passenger plane, a De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter, operated by a private airline, went missing in mountainous Nepal on Sunday with 22 people on board. The plane flew from the tourist town of Pokhara, some 125 km (80 miles) west of the capital, Kathmandu, being headed for Jomsom. It took off at 9:55 a.m. local time and lost contact with air control about 12 minutes into the flight. Flights between the two cities are usually 20-25 minutes long.There were bad flight conditions, with many clouds. It has been raining in the area for the past few days.Two German nationals, four Indians and 13 Nepali citizens are among the 22 people missing. Local residents spotted a fire near Lyanku Khola River., around Lete, a village in Mustang district, at the foot of the Himalayan mountain Manapathi, in a district bordering Tibet.


Emergency and recue teams were sent in the area. “The location of the aircraft remains unknown so far because of bad weather and complex terrain,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said in a statement. The Nepalese Army helps search for the missing plane. Cloudy weather was preventing search helicopters from flying into the area. Nepal has a record of air accidents. Its weather can change suddenly. In 1992, all 167 people aboard a Pakistan International Airlines plane were killed when it ploughed into a hill as it tried to land in Kathmandu.