A 43-year-old jet operated by a private Nepalese airline that went missing on Sunday with 22 passengers on board was discovered in Mustang near Kowang. ‘The Tara Air jet fell at the mouth of the Lamche river under the Manapathi Himal landslide, according to villagers. The Nepal Army is going towards the spot by ground and air routes,’ said Nepal Army spokesperson Narayan Silwal, according to news agency ANI. According to a Tara Air representative, the Twin Otter 9N-AET jet took off from Pokhara at 9:55 a.m. and lost communication around 10:07 a.m.
How was the plane located?
According to My Republica, a Nepal Army helicopter carrying ten troops and two civil aviation authority officials landed on the bank of a river near the Narshang Monastery, the potential site of the disaster. The publication reported Prem Nath Thakur, general manager of the Tribhuvan International Airport, as stating, ‘A Nepal Army chopper has landed on the riverbank near Narshang Gumba’.
Surprisingly, the jet was found after Nepal Telecom traced down the plane’s Captain Prabhakar Ghimire’s smartphone using the Global Positioning System (GPS) network. ‘ The mobile phone of Captain Ghimire of the missing aircraft has been ringing, and the Nepal Army’s chopper has landed near the suspected accident spot after tracing the captain’s phone through Nepal Telecom,’ Thakur added.’ We have also despatched Nepal Army and Nepal Policemen on foot for the search,’ he said.
Tara Air flight 9NAET that took off from Pokhara at 9.55 AM today with 22 people onboard, including 4 Indians, has gone missing. Search and rescue operation is on. The embassy is in touch with their family.
Our emergency hotline number :+977-9851107021. https://t.co/2aVhUrB82b
— IndiaInNepal (@IndiaInNepal) May 29, 2022
Who’s on board?
The airline released a list of passengers, four of whom were identified as Indians, along with two Germans, 13 Nepali passengers, and a three-member Nepali crew. ‘Tara Air aircraft 9NAET, which took off from Pokhara at 9.55 a.m. today with 22 persons on board, including four Indians, has gone missing. The search and rescue effort is underway. The embassy is in contact with their family. Our emergency phone number is +977-9851107021 ‘,the Indian embassy in Nepal tweeted about it.
The plane was supposed to land at Jomsom Airport in the western mountainous area around 10:15 a.m. According to aviation sources, the aircraft lost communication with the tower while flying above Ghorepani on the Pokhara-Jomsom route. An unsubstantiated report of a loud boom in Ghasa, Jomsom, was received by an air traffic controller at Jomsom Airport.
According to airline sources, the weather on the Pokhara-Jomsom route is now gloomy with rain, hindering search activities. Earlier, Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand instructed officials to step up the hunt for the missing plane. Officials claimed the aircraft was last seen turning toward Dhaulagiri Peak.