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5 killed in Nepal chopper crash

Published on: 10:23 pm - Saturday | September 8, 2018

currentnews.com.bd

A helicopter crashed into a hillside in central Nepal on Saturday, killing five on board, including a Japanese tourist, officials said.

One woman survived the crash with injuries but another passenger is still
missing. Rescuers travelled on foot to reach the chopper’s wreckage spotted
on a forested hillside in neighbouring Nuwakot district. Officials had
earlier said that the helicopter went down in Dhadhing, an adjoining
district.

“Five bodies, including that of the Japanese, were found. We are trying to
rescue the injured passenger and search for the missing person,” Nuwakot
police chief Basanta Bahadur Kunwar told AFP.

The single-pilot Kathmandu-bound Altitude Air helicopter was carrying six
passengers, including a Japanese trekker, when it lost contact with air
traffic control after taking off from the central district of Gorkha.

Kunwar said that weather was hampering the rescue process.

Nepal has a booming private helicopter industry, flying tourists and goods
to remote corners of the Himalayan nation where road access is limited or
non-existent.

But the impoverished country has a poor air safety record due to poorly
trained staff and lacklustre maintenance.

In 2016, seven people were killed in a helicopter crash 22 kilometres (14
miles) north of the capital.

There were multiple helicopter accidents, claiming over a dozen lives, in
the wake of a powerful 2015 earthquake when choppers were used to rescue the
injured and deliver aid to communities cut off by the disaster.

The European Union banned all Nepalese airlines following international
alarm over the country’s air safety record.

 

(BSS/AFP)
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