Kathmandu A passenger plane with 22 people on board is missing, according to police in Nepal. Air traffic control lost contact with the engine just before 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, police spokesman Bishnu Kumar KC told the German Press Office. According to authorities, there were also two Germans in the small machine, the AP news agency reported.
Nepalese airline Tara Air’s plane was carrying 19 passengers and three crew on its way from Pokhara – a popular tourist destination about 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu – to Jomsom.
Bad weather in the area makes the search for the missing plane even more difficult.
It has rained in the area in recent days, but air traffic is normal. Data from the flightradar24.com website shows that the 43-year-old engine sent its final signal twelve minutes after takeoff. At that time he was at an altitude of 3900 meters.
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According to Nepalese information, Germans could also be in the machine. “There were 4 Indians, 2 Germans and 16 Nepalese on the plane,” said KC police spokesman from dpa. The Foreign Office in Berlin said on Sunday that the German embassy in Kathmandu was working hard to clarify the matter and was in contact with Nepali authorities.
The short route from Pokhara, 200 kilometers east of the capital Kathmandu, to Jomsom is popular with climbers from abroad. Pilgrims from India and Nepal also visit the Muktinath Temple in the area. According to information, there were a total of six foreigners on board – apart from the two Germans, there were also four Indians.
The plane had to fly on a route between mountains before landing in a valley. Plane crashes have occurred repeatedly along the route. In 2016, a Tara Airlines Twin Otter crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 23 people on board. In 2012, an Agni Air plane crashed between Pokhara and Jomsom, killing 15 people. Two years later, a Nepal Airlines plane crashed on the route. There were 18 people killed.
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