22 feared dead in Tara Air Twin Otter crash
The passengers had chartered the aircraft to return to Kathmandu after visiting the holy site at Halesi in the district
KATHMANDU: The Tara Air’s Twin Otter aircraft that had gone missing soon after after taking off from Lamidanda Airport in Khotang district on Wednesday afternoon is suspected to have crashed at a remote location in neighbouring Okhaldhunga district.
All 22 people—one Tibetan holding US passport and all other Nepali nationals including three crew members— on board the small aircraft are feared dead. The passengers had chartered the aircraft to return to Kathmandu after visiting the holy site at Halesi in the district.
The authorities, however, are searching for the ill-fated aircraft; the security personnel deployed for the rescue are trying to locate the incident site.
Due to the poor visibility in the suspected location, the Nepal Army night vision helicopter could not carry out the search operation after the dusk, Nepal Army Spokesperson Ramindra Chhetri told the state-owned Nepal Television.
According to him, the security personnel are trying to reach the site on foot.
The 9N AFX-DHC6 Twin Otter had taken off at 3:08 pm from the Lamindanda Airport. It lost contacts with the air control tower after 20 minutes of its flight.
The crew members included pilot Anup Raj Shakya, co-pilot Shachendra Shrestha and air-hostess Sudikshya Gurung.
Among 19 passengers, 10 are women and nine males including the one holding US passport.