[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Plane carrying 18 goes missing in Nepal

Rescuers in mountainous western area search on foot, as officials call off helicopter hunt due to poor visibility.

Last updated: 16 Feb 2014 15:20
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Rescuers in Nepal's mountainous west are searching on foot for a missing Nepal Airlines plane carrying 18 people, as officials called off a helicopter hunt due to poor visibility.

The plane carrying three crew and 15 passengers, including a child lost contact with air traffic control 15 minutes after taking off from the tourist town of Pokhara, airline officials and police said on Sunday.

The aircraft was travelling to the town of Jumla, 353km west of Kathmandu. Most of those on board are Nepalese.

More than 150 police are taking part in the search, which is now focused on the hilly district of Arghakhanchi, 226km west of the capital, said local official Govinda Panthi.

Safety concerns

Heavy rain hampered earlier efforts with two helicopters forced to turn back because of bad weather, said Bimlesh Lal Karna, the chief air traffic controller at the country's largest airport in Kathmandu.

The incident again raises concerns about the nation's aviation sector, which has suffered a series of fatal accidents.

The EU in December banned all the country's airlines from flying to the EU.

Fifteen people were killed at the high-altitude Jomsom airstrip in May 2012 when a plane carrying Indian pilgrims crashed into a mountain.

In September 2012, 19 people, including seven Britons and four Chinese, were killed after an Everest-bound plane crashed minutes after taking off from Kathmandu.

228

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.