All 22 people on board a small passenger plane that crashed in the foothills of the Himalayas of eastern Nepal have been found dead. The Rescue Co-ordination Committee at Kathmandu Airport stated that the wreckage of a the plane was recovered on Thursday at a village 150 kilometers from the capital Kathmandu.
The plane which took off from the airstrip of Lamidanada in the Khotang district on Wednesday crashed reportedly after losing contact with flight controllers. Nineteen passengers along with three crew members were traveling to Kathmandu in the Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Nepal based Tara Air. Khotang, is home to a Hindu temple and a Buddhist monastery.
Officials are sending the bodies to Kathmandu and are yet to determine the reason behind the crash. All passengers were initially identified as Nepalese, but local media reports maintained that some pilgrims from Bhutan who claimed to be locals to qualify for a cheaper air fare were also traveling in the plane. Reports also suggest that an American tourist was on board.
Tara Air is a subsidiary of the privately owned Yeti Airlines. The domestic airline service previously suffered an accident in 2008 when all 19 people on board of its passenger plane crashed on landing at Lukla airport.