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Rescuers close to plane that crashed in Nepal with 22 aboard

Nepal Plane Missing
Posted at 10:39 AM, May 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-29 10:39:07-04

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Authorities in Nepal say rescuers have narrowed down a possible location of a passenger plane with 22 people on board that is feared to have crashed in the mountains.

The Twin Otter operated by the Tara Air was on a 20-minute scheduled flight from Pokhara to the mountain town of Jomsom on Sunday when it lost contact with the airport tower close to landing.

Army troops and rescue teams were headed to a possible crash site but had to stop for the night due to bad weather and poor visibility in an area of deep gorges and mountaintops.

It has been raining for the past few days along the flight route that is popular with foreign hikers and Indian and Nepalese pilgrims.

Nepal has had a spotty air safety record.

In 2016, a Tara Air Twin Otter flying the same route crashed after takeoff, killing all 23 people aboard. In 2012, an Agni Air plane also flying from Pokhara to Jomsom crashed, killing 15 people. Six people survived. In 2014, a Nepal Airlines plane flying from Pokhara to Jumla crashed, killing all 18 on board.

In 2018, a US-Bangla passenger plane from Bangladesh crashed on landing in Kathmandu, killing 49 of the 71 people aboard.

The Twin Otter is a rugged plane originally built by Canadian aircraft manufacturer De Havilland. It has been in service by small airlines and other operators around the world for more than half a century.

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

Production of the planes originally ended in the 1980s. Another Canadian company, Viking Air, brought the model back into production in 2010.