A helicopter carrying six persons including Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari has crashed in Pathibhara, Taplejung on Wednesday afternoon, according to officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs. The crash occurred at Sisne of Fungling Municipality-10, Taplejung airport officials told Biratnagar air traffic control tower.
According to a spokesperson of the Nepal tourism board rescue teams are on the way and need another 2 hours to reach the accident scene, report agencies.
According to Inspector General of Nepal Police Sarbendra Khanal, the Air Dynasty helicopter was carrying Adhikari as well as Ang Tsering Sherpa, a prominent aviation and hospitality entrepreneur, and Yubaraj Dahal, personal aide to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. The team had gone for a feasibility study for an airstrip in Chuhandanda, in neighbouring Tehrathum district, Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai informed the House Committee Wednesday afternoon.
According to Rai, the two other passengers were Birendra Prasad Shrestha, Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, and Arjun Kumar Ghimire. The helicopter was being flown by Captain Prabhakar KC. A passenger manifest released by Air Dynasty confirms the names of all six persons on board the helicopter.
The crashed occurred when Adhikari’s team was returning to Kathmandu after offering worship at Pathibhara temple.
Moments after it was reported missing, local residents in Pathibara area informed the police about a huge flame at the crash site.
Sherpa, managing director of Yeti Airlines, is the chairman of Air Dynasty.
“Our people are about to reach the site of the crash and we will know more then,” said Sarbendra Khanal, the Inspector General of Nepal Police.
Tribhuvan International Airport officials in Kathmandu told the Post a helicopter headed towards the crash site has been forced to return due to bad weather condition.