Amidst inclement weather, a Nepal Army helicopter has on Sunday located the site where the small plane of a local airline with 22 people on board, including four Indians, has crashed, reports said.
According to the information given by the locals to the Nepal Army, the Tara Air plane crashed at the mouth of the Lamche river under the landslide of Manapathi Himal. Nepal Army is moving towards the site from the ground and air route, Nepal Army spokesperson Narayan Silwal said.
The Twin Otter 9N-AET plane belonging to Nepal's Tara Air took off at 10:15 am from Pokhara, and lost contact with the control tower 15 minutes later, according to an airline spokesperson.
Interestingly, the airplane was located after Nepal Telecom tracked down the cellphone of the airplane's Captain Prabhakar Ghimire through the Global Positioning System (GPS) network.
"The cell phone of Captain Ghimire of the missing aircraft has been ringing and Nepal Army's helicopter has landed in the possible accident area after tracking the captain's phone from Nepal Telecom," Thakur said.
"We have also sent Nepal Army and Nepal Police personnel on foot for the search," he added.
There are four Indian nationals, two Germans and 13 Nepali passengers besides a three member Nepali crew, said Sudarshan Bartaula, a spokesperson at the airlines.
"Tara Air flight 9NAET that took off from Pokhara at 9.55 AM today with 22 people onboard, including 4 Indians, has gone missing. Search and rescue operation is on. The embassy is in touch with their family. Our emergency hotline number:+977-9851107021," the Indian embassy in Nepal tweeted.
The airline has issued the list of passengers, which identified four Indians as Ashok Kumar Tripathi, Dhanush Tripathi, Ritika Tripathi, and Vaibhawi Tripathi.
The aircraft was scheduled to land at Jomsom Airport in the Western mountainous region at 10:15 am.
(With PTI inputs)