Missing Plane found in Ruins Near Manapathi Mountain

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Missing Plane found in Ruins Near Manapathi Mountain

May 30: A twin-otter plane of Tara Air that went out of contact sine Sunday morning while flying to Jomsom from Pokhara has been found in a wretched condition at the bottom of Manapathi mountain near Lete of Mustang district.    

According to the state-owned national news agency RSS, the plane with 22 people on board including three crew members was found at Patake Lake in Sanosora of Thasang Rural Municipality, ward-2 of Mustang this morning (May 30).    

Chairperson of Thasang Rural Municipality Pradeep Gauchan told RSS that Sumit Gauchan, a local of Lete, and other yarsa gumba pickers had sent a photo showing wretched condition of the crashed plane.    

However, the government is yet to confirm this officially. After plane parts were seen broken at the bottom of Manapathi Mountain from a distant area, the security personnel and locals had set out to the direction early this morning, chairperson Gauchan added.   

Meanwhile, Nepalese Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Narayan Silwal posted a photo of the crash site taken from a helicopter on Twitter on Monday morning confirming that the plane had crashed. 

The Army spokesperson confirmed Sanosware of Thasang-2, Mustang as the crash site through his official Twitter handle.

The airline company said in a statement on Monday that the wreckage of the missing plane waas found at an altitude of 14,500 feet. According to the company, the search and rescue teams have now reached the accident site. The company did not announce the fate of the passengers and crew members who are believed to have died in the crash.

The plane was carrying 19 passengers including four Indians, two Germans ,13 Nepalis and three crew members.

The plane that flew from Pokhara to Jomsom at 9:55 on Sunday morning went out of contact after 10:11 am. 

According to media reports, the aircraft with call sign 9N-AET has been in operation since the last 43 years. 

Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 said the aircraft, with registration number 9N-AET, made its first flight in April 1979, Reuters reported.

“Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Everest, has a record of air accidents. Its weather can change suddenly and airstrips are typically located in mountainous areas that are hard to reach,” the news agency further reported.

Besides the terrain and adverse weather, experts have often blamed the poor condition of aircraft as one of the major causes of air crashes. However, it is said that the reports prepared after investigation following such accidents often blame human error as the cause of accident.

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