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Nepal’s Civil Aviation Minister, 6 Others Die in Helicopter Crash

The minister was accompanied by six others.

Updated
World
2 min read
Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari (third from left, sitting).
i

Nepal’s Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari was among the 7 on board who were killed in a helicopter crash in Nepal’s Taplejung on Wednesday, 27 February, the country’s civil aviation authority said.

An Air Dynasty helicopter carrying 6 passengers crashed in Pathibhara, Taplejung on Wednesday. All 7 on board, including the pilot, have died, The Kathmandu Post reported.

Besides the 39-year-old tourism minister, the Air Dynasty helicopter was carrying Nepal’s prominent aviation and hospitality entrepreneur Ang Tsering Sherpa, Prime Minister’s personal aide Yubaraj Dahal, two senior Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN) officials and a Nepal Army personnel.
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The helicopter caught fire after it hit Chuchche Dada hill in Taplejung district, a mountainous region of northeast Nepal, reported PTI.

Moments after the chopper was reported missing, local residents in Pathibara area informed the police about a huge flame at the crash site.

The Chief District Officer of Taplejung, Anuj Bhandari, quoted the locals as saying that they had heard a loud bang followed by smoke and fire in the area.

Rescue workers retrieved the bodies of Adhikari, the pilot and five other passengers from a hillside in Taplejung district where the Air Dynasty chopper went down. Tourism Ministry spokesperson confirmed that all seven on board the helicopter have been killed in the crash.

Meanwhile, the office of the prime minister and council of minister has summoned an emergency cabinet meeting at the official residence of the prime minister in Baluwatar.

Earlier, the minister accompanied by the technical team from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Sherpa, managing director of Yeti Airlines, had gone for a feasibility study for an airstrip in Chuhandanda, in Tehrathum district.

The helicopter crashed right after it had taken off from the temple, officials said, adding the cause of the crash is being probed. The helicopter burst into flames after it hit Chuchche Dada hill in Taplejung district in the mountain region. There was a huge snowfall in the forest area where the helicopter crashed.

Moments after the helicopter was reported missing, local residents in Pathibara area informed the police about a huge flame at the crash site.

The Chief District Officer of Taplejung, Anuj Bhandari quoted the locals as saying they heard a loud bang followed by a sight of smoke and fire in the area. It is the latest aviation accident in Nepal, which has a poor air safety record.

It is the latest aviation accident in Nepal, which has a poor air safety record. In September last year, six people including a Japanese tourist was killed when a helicopter crashed.

Nepal has some of the world's most remote and tricky runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with approaches that pose a challenge for even accomplished pilots.

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(With inputs from The Kathmandu Post and PTI)

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