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© Reuters. A group of climbers wait to board a plane as they make their way to search and rescue a Tara Airlines plane, which crashed with 22 people on board en route to Jomsom in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Sunday, missing May 29, 2022. Photo: Navesh Chitrakar – Reuters

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By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – The Nepalese military said on Monday it had located the crash site of a plane that lost 22 people on board in cloudy weather on Sunday.

“Search and rescue forces have located the crash site,” military spokesman Narayan Salwal said on Twitter (NYSE:):

The airline and government officials said four Indians, two Germans and 16 Nepalese were on board the De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter operated by privately owned Tara Air.

The plane was on a 20-minute flight before losing contact with the control tower.

She had left the tourist town of Pokhara, 125 kilometers (80 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu, and was heading to Jomsom, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Pokhara, a popular tourist and pilgrimage area.

Flight tracker Flightradar24 said the plane, with registration number 9N-AET, made its maiden flight in April 1979.

Deo Chandra Lal Karna, a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), said five helicopters were ready to assist in the rescue operation.

Nepal, home to eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, has had a record number of aviation accidents. The weather can change suddenly and the runways are usually located in mountainous areas that are difficult to access.

In early 2018, a US Bangladesh Airlines flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu crashed on landing and caught fire, killing 51 of the 71 people on board.