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Plane with 22 people, including 4 Indians on board missing in Nepal’s mountains

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A small Nepalese private airlines plane with 22 people on board, including four Indians, has gone missing in the mountainous region of the Himalayan nation after it took off from the tourist city of Pokhara on Sunday morning, officials said.

The Twin Otter 9N-AET plane belonging to Tara Air, which took off at 10:15 am from Pokhara, lost contact with the tower 15 minutes after it flew, according to a spokesperson at the Tara Air.

There are four Indian nationals, two Germans and 13 Nepali passengers besides a three member Nepali crew, said Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesperson at the airlines.

The three-member crew of the aircraft was led by captain Prabhakar Prasad Ghimire. The aircraft was scheduled to land at Jomsom Airport in the Western mountainous region at 10:15 am.

The aircraft lost contact with the tower from the sky above Ghorepani on the Pokhara-Jomsom air route, aviation sources said.

According to an air traffic controller at Jomsom Airport, they have an unconfirmed report about a loud noise in Ghasa of Jomsom.

It is suspected that the aircraft crashed in the Dhaulagiri area, My Republica newspaper quoted DSP Ram Kumar Dani of Mustang as saying. Dani said that a helicopter had flown from Jomsom to search for the aircraft.

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