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Nepal: Seven persons die in chopper crash, including Tourism and Civil Aviation minister and senior govt officials

The officials was returning from a feasibility study of an airstrip in Chuhandanda.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has confirmed the death of seven people, including country’s Tourism and Civil Aviation minister Tourism Rabindra Adhikari, due to a helicopter crash at Taplejung district’s Pathibhara area.

In addition to the death of Minister Adhikari, other people who were accompanying him were: Prime Minister KP Oil’s close aid Yubaraj Dahal, an aviation and hospitality entrepreneur Ang Tsering Sherpa, General of Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN)Birendra Prasad Shrestha, CAAN Deputy Director Dhurba Bhochhibhoya, and security guard of Minister Arjun Kumar Ghimire. The helicopter was being flown by Captain Prabhakar KC.

Ang Tsering Sherpa is the chairman of Air Dynasty, and also the Managing Director of Yeti Airlines. The names were revealed after Air Dynasty, the company which operated the chopper, released the passenger manifest.

The crew reportedly had gone for the feasibility study of an airstrip in Chuhandanda. Chuhandanda is a sparsely-populated region in Tehrathum district of Nepal. The accident happened when the crew was returning to the nation’s capital Kathmandu from offering worship at Pathibhara Mata temple.  According to local eyewitnesses, the helicopter crashed a minute after it took off from Pathibhara temple.

The rescue operations have been delayed in the wake of severe climate, the office of Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu said.

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