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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
Shutterstock/Bon Appetit File image - Himalaya mountains, Nepal.
# Tragedy
23 confirmed dead as passenger plane crashes on Nepal mountain
The aircraft lost contact with air traffic control eight minutes after taking off.

Updated at 1.40pm

RESCUERS HAVE FOUND the burnt-out wreckage of a passenger plane that crashed into a mountainside in Nepal killing all 23 people on board.

The Twin Otter turboprop aircraft lost contact with air traffic control eight minutes after taking off from the tourist town of Pokhara early today.

The army had deployed helicopters and foot soldiers to search Myagdi, a mountainous district around 220 kilometres west of Kathmandu, after locals reported seeing possible wreckage of the Tara Air plane.

Chief district officer Sagar Mani Pathak said there was “no possibility of survivors from the crash”, the latest in a series of fatal aviation accidents in the impoverished Himalayan nation.

“A small team has reached the crash site for an initial investigation,” said Pathak.

It looks like the plane crashed into the hillside. The wreckage was still in flames when the team arrived and the bodies were scattered.

The airline said the plane was carrying three crew and 20 passengers, one a Chinese and one a Kuwaiti national.

All the others were from Nepal and two of them were children.

A statement on its website said weather conditions were good when the plane took off for Jomsom, a popular trekking destination in the Himalayas about 20 minutes’ flight from Pokhara.

Relatives of the victims gathered at Pokhara airport after hearing the news. But Pathak said a full team of rescuers would be unable to reach the crash site, which is around 16,000 feet above sea level, today.

“We are sending teams to bring down the bodies, but they have not arrived yet. It is not possible for a helicopter to land in the area,” he said.

The weather is deteriorating and it might snow. It is unlikely they will be able to bring anything down today.

Tara Air is a subsidiary of Yeti Airlines, a privately-owned domestic carrier founded in 1998 which services many remote destinations across Nepal.

It suffered its last fatal accident in 2010 when a plane chartered by a group of Bhutanese tourists crashed into a mountainside in eastern Nepal.

© – AFP 2016

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