18 on board plane missing in Nepal
Published 16/02/2014 | 11:02
A Nepal Airlines plane with 18 people on board flying in bad weather is missing in Nepal's mountainous west.
Ram Hari Sharma of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said the plane left today from the resort town of Pokhara after making an unscheduled fuel stop, but contact was lost a few minutes later.
The Twin Otter plane had 15 passengers and three crew members on board and was heading toward the town of Jumla.
It has been snowing this weekend in parts of the mountainous region, and visibility has been low due to fog.
A rescue helicopter was trying to reach the area where contact with the plane was lost, but the weather conditions were making it difficult.
An aviation official, Dharmendra Pandey, said villagers in Argakhachi district reported that the plane had crashed in a remote mountainous area. He said police were trying to reach the area.
One of the passengers on the de Havilland Canada-manufactured plane was believed to be a Danish national, while the rest - including a child - were Nepalese, Mr Sharma said.
The plane was scheduled to fly directly from Katmandu to Jumla, about 250 miles to the west, but stopped to refuel at Pokhara's airport about a third of the way into the journey.
In May, another plane of the same make and model operated by state-owned Nepal Airlines crashed while attempting to land at a mountain airstrip in northern Nepal, injuring all 21 people on board.