India on 4 aboard missing Nepal plane: Search ops on, in touch with families
Tara Air plane missing: The aircraft had 22 people aboard. It took off from the tourist town of Pokhara at about 9:55 am.
Shortly after a plane went missing in Nepal on Sunday, the Indian embassy in the neighbouring country said the search and rescue operations were on, adding that the officials were in touch with families of four people who were aboard the aircraft. “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,” it said in a tweet.
The plane operated by a private airline - Tara Air - had 22 people aboard, including two Germans, and three crew members. It took off from the tourist town of Pokhara, some 125 km west of capital Kathmandu, and headed towards Jomsom, about 80 km to the northwest, news agency Reuters quoted officials as saying.
"One search helicopter returned to Jomsom due to bad weather without locating the plane," the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said in a statement, Reuters reported. "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."
The four Indians who were on board have been identified as: Ashok Kumar Tripathi, Dhanush Tripathi, Ritika Tripathi, and Vaibhawi Tripathi.
Earlier, Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesman for Tara Air, had told news agency AFP: "We are trying to locate the possible area where the aircraft might be. Search and rescue teams from both the police and the army are heading in that direction."
Air safety concerns in Nepal have long plagued the aviation industry. A US-Bangla Airlines flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu in 2018 had crashed on landing, and caught fire, killing 51 of 71 people on the plane.
In 2016, a Tara Air plane crashed on the Pokhara-Jomsom route, killing all 23 people on board.
(With inputs from AFP, Reuters)