Kathmandu: Nepal government has said efforts to locate a missing Tara Air plane have been intensified despite difficult terrain and poor weather.
A team of Nepal Army (NA) and Nepal Police is kept in the ready position to expedite the search operation, according to Sundar Tiwari, DSP of District Police Office, Mustang.
“A Nepal Army helicopter has arrived in Pokhara from Kathmandu to intensify the search operation,” he said. “The helicopter will soon leave for Mustang to intensify the search operation.”
According to the Nepal Army, NA ground troops and the helicopter with rescue teams are trying to locate the Tara Air plane. “Possible incident site is believed to be in and around Lete, Mustang. Poor visibility due to bad weather is hindering the efforts,” said Brigadier General Narayan Silwal, the Nepal Army spokesperson.
A helicopter that went for search has returned to Jomsom due to bad weather without locating the plane, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.
The Tara Air aircraft took off from Pokhara, a western tourist city of Nepal, headed towards Jomsom, officials said. The plane last came into contact at 10:07 am with the Jomsom tower, according to Tara Air.
A 9N-AET twin-engine Twin Otter Tara Airline with 22 people on board, including three cabin crew members, has been missing since Sunday morning in the Lete region of the Mustang district.
The plane was carrying 13 Nepali, four Indian, and two German nationals. A Tara Air source told Nepal Live Today that the cabin crew members included senior instructor pilot, co-pilot and an air hostess.
According to locals, they heard a loud noise in the Ghasa region of Mustang.