KATHMANDU, Nepal ( Associated Press) — The wreckage of a plane lost in the mountains of Nepal was found scattered on a hill on Monday, and 14 of the 22 people on board were confirmed dead.
Teknath Sitaula of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu said rescue workers recovered 14 bodies from the crash site. There was no information about the survivors and search was on for the crash site.
Aerial photos of the crash site showed parts of the plane scattered on rocks and moss at the side of a mountain gorge.
The Tara Air turboprop Twin Otter lost contact with the airport tower on Sunday while it was flying over deep river valleys and mountainous terrain in a 20-minute flight.
The military said the plane crashed in Sanosware in Mustang district, close to the hill town of Jomsom, after taking off from the resort town of Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Kathmandu.
According to tracking data from Flightradar24.com, the 43-year-old took off from Pokhara at 9:55 am (04:10 GMT) and transmitted its last signal at 10:07 am (04:22 GMT) altitude. of 12,825 feet (3,900 m).
Four Indians and two Germans were on board the plane. Three crew members and other passengers were Nepalese nationals.
The destination of the plane is popular with foreign climbers who hike the mountain trails and also with Indian and Nepalese pilgrims who visit the revered Muktinath Temple.
According to AviationNepal.com, the Twin Otter, a rugged aircraft originally built by Canadian aircraft manufacturer de Havilland, has been in service in Nepal for nearly 50 years, during which it has been involved in about 21 accidents.
The aircraft, with its top-mounted wing and fixed landing gear, is prized for its durability and ability to take off and land on short runways.
Production of the planes basically ended in the 1980s. Another Canadian company, Viking Air, brought the model back into production in 2010.