Search Delayed for Plane in Nepal's Mountains

22 people were aboard flight often taken by foreign hikers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 29, 2022 12:00 PM CDT
Poor Visibility Delays Search in Nepal's Mountains for Plane
A team of climbers prepares to leave Sunday for rescue operations from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. Rescue efforts were postponed until Monday.   (AP Photo/Niranjan Shreshta)

Rescuers zeroed in on a possible location of a passenger plane with 22 people aboard that is feared to have crashed Sunday in cloudy weather in Nepal's mountains, officials said. The Tara Air plane was on a 20-minute scheduled flight from the resort town of Pokhara, 125 miles east of Kathmandu, to the mountain town of Jomsom. The turboprop Twin Otter aircraft lost contact with the airport tower close to landing in an area of deep river gorges and mountaintops, the AP reports. An army helicopter and private choppers were taking part in the search, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said in a statement.

Army troops and rescue teams were headed to the possible site of the crash, believed to be around Lete, a village in Mustang district, Narayan Silwal, the army spokesman said on Twitter. But bad weather and nightfall caused the search to be suspended until Monday morning, Silwal said. "Poor visibility due to bad weather is hindering the efforts. The plane has not yet been located," he said. Rescuers were trying to reach an area where locals allegedly saw a fire, though it was unclear what was burning, Silwal added. Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesman for Tara Air, said that rescuers had narrowed down a possible location of the plane.

According to plane tracking data from, the 43-year-old aircraft took off from Pokhara at 9:55am and transmitted its last signal at 10:07am at an altitude of 12,825 feet. The plane was carrying 19 passengers and three crew, Bartaula said. There were six foreigners on board, including four Indians and two Germans, a police official said. It has been raining in the area for the past few days but flights have been operating normally. Planes on that route fly between mountains before landing in a valley. It is a popular route with foreign hikers who trek on the mountain trails and also with Indian and Nepalese pilgrims who visit the revered Muktinath temple.

(Read more missing plane stories.)

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