Plane wreckage found in the mountains of Nepal, 14 bodies found

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A team of mountaineers prepare to depart for rescue operations from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal on Sunday, May 29, 2022. A small plane with 22 people on board flying on a popular tourist route was missing in the mountains of Nepal, an official said. The Tara Airlines plane, which was on a scheduled 15-minute flight to the mountain town of Jomsom, took off from the resort town of Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Kathmandu. He lost contact with the airport tower shortly after takeoff. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shreshta)

PA

The wreckage of a plane lost in the Nepalese mountains was found strewn on the mountainside on Monday and 14 of the 22 people on board were confirmed dead, the army said.

Rescuers recovered 14 bodies from the crash site, Teknath Sitaula of Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu said. There was no word on the survivors and the search for the crash site was continuing.

Aerial photos of the crash site showed aircraft parts strewn across rocks and moss on the side of a mountain gorge.

The Tara Air Twin Otter turboprop lost contact with the airport tower on Sunday as it flew through an area of ​​deep gorges and mountain peaks on a 20-minute flight.

The military said the plane crashed at Sanosware in Mustang district near the mountain town of Jomsom where it was heading after taking off from the resort town of Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) east. west of Kathmandu.

According to tracking data from flightradar24.com, the 43-year-old plane took off from Pokhara at 9:55 a.m. (0410 GMT) and transmitted its last signal at 10:07 a.m. (0422 GMT) at an altitude of 12,825 feet (3,900 meters). .

Four Indians and two Germans were on the plane. The three crew members and the other passengers were Nepali nationals.

The plane’s destination is popular with foreign trekkers who trek the mountain trails as well as Indian and Nepalese pilgrims who visit the revered temple of Muktinath.

The Twin Otter, a rugged aircraft originally built by Canadian aircraft manufacturer De Havilland, has been in service in Nepal for about 50 years, during which time it has been involved in about 21 accidents, according to aviationnepal.com.

The aircraft, with its top-mounted wing and fixed landing gear, is valued for its durability and ability to take off and land on short runways.

Production of the aircraft initially ended in the 1980s. Another Canadian company, Viking Air, returned the model to production in 2010.

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