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Plane with 22 aboard goes missing in Nepal in cloudy weather

Plane with 22 aboard goes missing in Nepal  in cloudy weather

A plane operated by a private airline in Nepal has gone missing with 22 people onboard.

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The Tara Air plane took off from the tourist town of Pokhara, 80 miles (125km) west of the capital, Kathmandu, headed towards Jomsom, about 48 miles to the north-west, the officials said. Tara Air mainly flies Canadian-built Twin Otter turboprop planes.

 

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Cloudy weather is preventing search helicopters from flying into the area of the flight’s last known location, officials have said.

 

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“One search helicopter returned to Jomsom due to bad weather without locating the plane,” the Nepal’s civil aviation authority said in a statement.

 

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“Helicopters are ready to take off for search from Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Jomsom once weather conditions improve. Army and police search teams have left towards the site.”

 

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The airline said the plane was carrying four Indian people, two Germans, and 16 Nepalis, including three crew.

 

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The plane lost contact with the control tower five minutes before it was due to land at Jomsom, a tourist and pilgrimage site, an airline official said on condition of anonymity.

 

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The country’s weather office said there had been thick cloud cover in the Pokhara-Jomson area since the morning.

 

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A police official, Prem Kumar Dani, said a land rescue-and-search team had been sent to the area near Mount Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh highest peak at 8,167 metres (26,795 ft).

 

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