The destination was Jamsam. Shortly after taking off from Pokhra, a Tara Air flight from Nepal went missing in mid-air yesterday. After being missing for more than five hours, it was reported that it had collapsed near the Lamche river. However, the Nepalese administration could not confirm the exact location of the plane until nightfall. They did not even officially announce that the plane had crashed. The country’s civil aviation authority said in a statement of yesterday night: “Nothing is yet discovered about the flight of Tara Air which took off from Pokhra at 10:15 in the morning.”
The plane had 19 passengers, including four Indians. There were also three plane personnel. It is feared that all of them have died. The pilot of the twin-engine aircraft was traced by the Nepal Telecom Department based on the location of the pilot’s mobile phone. By the time the pilot’s location was known, his mobile phone was still working.
Details about the passengers
The Tara Air plane took off from Pokhra at 10:15 am yesterday. There were four Indians, two Germans and 13 Nepalese on the flight. The four Indians are residents of Thane in Maharashtra. According to the list of passengers released by the airline, the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu has learned that Ashok Kumar Tripathi, his wife Baibhavi Tripathi, son Dhanush Tripathi and daughter Ritika Tripathi were on board. Attempts are being made to contact their close relatives in India. According to a statement given by Tara Air, “Indians were going to Muktinath Temple for pilgrimage.”
Within 15 minutes of taking off from Pokhra, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) was disconnected from the aircraft. At that time the plane was in the sky of Ghorepani. Even after 5 hours no trace of the plane was found. According to a source, the plane was last seen in the sky of Jamsam. Then it went to the top of Dhaulagiri mountain. The ATC at Jamsam Airport said loud noises were heard in the Ghasa area. It is unknown at this time if those noises belong to the plane crash.
Again, quoting Mustang district DSP Ramkumar Dani, a Nepali daily claimed that the plane may have crashed in Dhaulagiri area. Nepal Army spokesman Narayan Silval also said locals had learned that the plane had crashed near the Lamche River. The aviation authority could not provide specific information about the location of the plane till night. “The search is being hampered by the highlands and bad weather. The 22 people on board are still alive. The 22 people aboard the plane are unlikely to be alive, the Tara air authorities have admitted.”
The three pilots air personnel who are feared dead in the crash are pilot Prabhakar Ghimire, co-pilot Utsav Pokhrel and flight attendant Kismi Thapa. Premnath Tagore, general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport, said the telecom department was able to locate the pilot’s mobile phone via GPS. He said, “The rescue team includes 10 soldiers and two employees of the Ministry of Aviation. They landed beside a river near Narsang Cave. “