The search and rescue operation for Tara Air’s 9 NAET twin-engine aircraft was called off for the day after snowfall at the possible air crash site.
“Due to the snowfall at the possible air crash site, the search and rescue operation has been called off for today. All the helicopters deployed for search and rescue operations have been called back to bases,” said Premnath Thakur, the general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport.
Tara Air’s 9 NAET twin-engine aircraft with 22 people on board, including four Indians, was found crashed in Kowang village of the Mustang district hours after it went missing in the mountainous district on Sunday morning.
According to the information given by the locals to the Nepal Army, the Tara Air plane crashed at the mouth of the Lamche river under the landslide of Manapathi Himal. Army spokesperson Narayan Silwal said that the Nepal Army was moving towards the site from the ground and air route.
- The fate of 22 people, including four members of an Indian family, remains unclear as bad weather and blankets of clouds made it difficult to locate the aircraft.
- The condition of the plane is unknown till now, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said in a statement.
- An army helicopter, as well as private choppers, were taking part in the search.
- The turboprop Twin Otter 9N-AET plane had four Indian nationals, two Germans and 13 Nepali passengers besides a three-member Nepali crew.
- The plane was flying from the city of Pokhara to Jomsom, a popular tourist town in central Nepal.
- As per the police officials, the aircraft has been suspected to have crashed in the “Titi” area of Lete in Mustang District.
- Villagers reportedly saw an aircraft on fire at the source of the Lyanku Khola River at the foot of the Himalayan mountain Manapathi, in a district bordering Tibet.
- The airplane was located after Nepal Telecom tracked down the cellphone of the airplane’s pilot Captain Prabhakar Ghimire through the Global Positioning System (GPS) network.
- The airline issued the list of passengers which identified four Indians as Ashok Kumar Tripathy, his wife Vaibhavi Bandekar (Tripathy) and their children Dhanush and Ritika. The family is currently residing in Thane city near Mumbai.
- The crew of the aircraft was led by captain Prabhakar Prasad Ghimire. Utsav Pokhrel is the co-pilot while Kismi Thapa is the air hostess.
- In a tweet, the Indian embassy in Nepal issued an emergency hotline number: 977-9851107021.
- The family members of the missing crew and passengers have gathered at the Pokhara Airport.
- Tara Air is the newest and biggest airline service provider in the Nepalese mountains, according to the airline website. It started business in 2009 with the mission of helping develop rural Nepal.