Nepal passenger plane wreckage found


Nepal small passenger plane wreckage found

Image caption
An archive picture of a Tara Airlines plane landing in Jomson, a popular resort town

Rescuers in western Nepal have found the wreckage of a passenger plane which went missing with 23 people on board.

The Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Tara Air, was travelling from Pokhara to Jomsom and lost contact with the control tower shortly after taking off.

Officials say the chances of finding survivors are slim.

The plane was carrying three crew and 20 passengers, one of them Chinese and one Kuwaiti. Nepal”s aviation industry has a poor safety record.

According to Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the plane”s wreckage was found near the village of Dana in Myagdi district.

Earlier he told the BBC Nepali Service the aircraft lost contact with the control tower at Pokhara 10 minutes after take-off.

The identities of those on board have yet to be released. Two of those on board were children.

Three helicopters were searching for the missing plane, Tara Air said earlier on its website, adding that “the weather at both origin and destination airports was favourable” for the 20-minute flight.

Nepal”s army said, however, that fog had been hampering the search for the Twin Otter.

Pokhara is a resort town some 200 kilometres (125 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu. Jomsom, a short distance further north, is the starting point for many people trekking in the Himalayas.

There are no landing strips between the two locations and the plane took off at around 0750 local time (0205 GMT).

Nepal has a limited road network and many areas are accessible only on foot or by air.

Since 1949, the year the first aircraft landed in Nepal, there have been more than 70 different crashes involving planes and helicopters, in which more than 700 people have been killed.

In 2013, the European Union banned all Nepalese airlines from flying there.

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