Tourism Minister Adhikari, six others killed in helicopter crash in Taplejung

Rabindra Adhikari helicopter crash

KATHMANDU, Feb 27:Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari and six others were killed in a Air Dynasty helicopter crash at Dare Bhir near Pathivara Temple, Mayum in Taplejung district.

Minister Adhikari, Yeti Airlines Chair Ang Tsiring Sherpa and under secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Yubaraj Dahal, pilot Prabhakar KC, Minister Adhikari’s bodyguard Arjun Ghimire, Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Birendra Prasad Shrestha and engineer Dhurba Bochhivoya were killed in the crash occured on Wednesday afternoon.

Minister Adhikari and the team, after visiting the Pathivara temple, had flown towards Chuhandanda of Tehrathum for an inspection of the area where a feasibility study had been conducted before for construction of airport.

All the dead bodies have been retrieved from the crash site.  According to the Home Ministry, security personnel who reached the crash site found the chopper and the bodies burnt.

Two helicopters of Air Dynasty and Simrik Airlines have reached the crash site while two more Army helicopters have flown toward the site. However the helicopters have had difficulty landing due to bad weather caused by rain and snowfall, according to Home Ministry.

Meanwhile, an emergency meeting of the cabinet has been called at the Office of Prime Minister in Baluwatar. Security chiefs have also been holding meeting at Singhadurbar.

According to a local eyewitness, the chopper hit a cliff and burst into flame moment after it took off. Local residents had informed the police about a huge flame at the crash site.