The spokesman, Brig. Gen. Narayan Silwal, said in a tweet that the plane crashed in the Mustang district close to the mountain town of Jomsom, where the aircraft was heading before the crash.
A local police inspector and a guide have already reached the site, Silwal said. Other rescue team members from different agencies are trying to reach the site, he said.
The aircraft, a DHC-6-300 Twin Otter operated by the private airline Tara Air, went missing shortly after taking off from Pokhara, in central Nepal, at 9:55 a.m. Sunday, according to the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
Jomsom, the plane’s destination, is near Nepal’s border with Tibet. The flight time was supposed to be 20 minutes.
Tara Air said in a notice on its website that the plane was carrying four Indian nationals, two Germans and 13 Nepalis, along with three crew members. The aircraft made its last contact with Jomson Airport at 10:07 a.m., the airline said.
According to Flightradar24, a website that tracks flights in real time around the world, the Tara Air flight stopped transmitting a signal around Shikha, a mountainous area north of Pokhara.
Twenty-three people died in 2016 when a Twin Otter aircraft operated by Tara Air and flying the same Pokhara-to-Jomsom route crashed and was later found near a village about 30 miles south of Jomsom.
The International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency, audited Nepal’s civil aviation industry in 2017 and found that the country scored below the global average in investigating accidents. Nepali airlines are banned from flying in the airspace of the European Union because of “a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities” there.