Nepal Tara Air plane crash: all but one of 22 people on board confirmed dead

Tara Air turboprop plane lost contact with airport tower during 20-minute flight on Sunday

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The wreckage of a plane carrying 22 people that disappeared in Nepal’s mountains has been found scattered on a mountainside and the bodies of all those on board recovered except for one, officials said.

The Tara Air turboprop Twin Otter was on a 20-minute flight on Sunday when it lost contact with the airport tower while flying in a mountainous area with deep river gorges.

The plane crashed in Sanosware, in Mustang district, close to the mountain town of Jomsom where it was heading after taking off from the resort town of Pokhara, 200 kilometres west of Kathmandu, Nepal's army said.

An aerial photograph of the crash site, which was posted by the army on Twitter, showed parts of the aircraft scattered around the mountainside.

Bodies of the victims were brought to Kathmandu on Monday aboard a military helicopter.

The search is continuing for the remaining person, a Kathmandu Airport spokesman said.

Four Indians and two Germans were on the plane. The three crew members and other passengers were Nepali citizens.

Recovery efforts were delayed because some bodies were pinned under the plane’s wreckage. Rescuers working with their bare hands had difficulty moving the metal debris.

The search for the plane had been suspended due to bad weather and failing light on Sunday night but resumed on Monday.

The 43-year-old aircraft took off from Pokhara at 9.55am and transmitted its last signal at 10.07am at an altitude of 3.9km, tracking data from showed.

Relatives of passengers onboard the Twin Otter aircraft operated by Tara Air weep outside the airport in Pokhara on May 29. AFP

The plane’s destination is popular with foreign hikers who trek the mountain trails, and also with Indian and Nepalese pilgrims who visit the revered Muktinath temple.

The Twin Otter, a rugged plane originally built by Canadian aircraft manufacturer De Havilland, has been in service in Nepal for about 50 years, during which it has been involved in about 21 accidents, according to

The plane, with its top-mounted wing and fixed landing gear, is prized for its durability and its ability to take off and land on short runways.

Production of the planes originally ended in the 1980s. Another Canadian company, Viking Air, brought the model back into production in 2010.

Updated: May 30, 2022, 3:47 PM