Chopper crash in Nepal kills all seven aboard

Chopper crash in Nepal kills all seven aboard

'Without an investigation, we cannot tell what caused the accident,' said Ramesh Shiwakoti of Fishtail Air. In photo: A Nepalese man carries a body of an airplane crash victim in Kathmandu on February 25, 2016. (AFP)

Kathmandu Nepal | Aug 8, 2016, 05.53 PM (IST)

A helicopter crashed into a hillside in Nepal today, killing all seven people on board including a baby, an airline official said.

The Fishtail Air helicopter carrying six locals to Kathmandu lost contact with air traffic control about 30 minutes after taking off from the western district of Gorkha. Rescuers have reached the crash site north of the capital where they will retrieve the bodies.

"There were five adults and one infant on board, as well as the pilot," said Ramesh Shiwakoti of Fishtail Air. "There are no survivors," Shiwakoti told AFP. "Without an investigation, we cannot tell what caused the accident."

Nepal, still reeling from last year's devastating earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people, has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years. The crashes have dealt a blow to the tourism industry, a source of much-needed revenue in the impoverished Himalayan nation.

Most of the accidents have been attributed to inexperienced pilots, poor management and inadequate maintenance.

Four people, including three staff from medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF), died in June 2015 when a helicopter delivering aid to quake survivors crashed.

That incident came three weeks after a UH-1Y Huey helicopter came down on a relief mission in the north of the country.

Six US Marines, two Nepali soldiers and five villagers were killed. The European Union in 2013 banned all Nepalese airlines from flying there following international alarm over Nepal's air safety record.

(AFP)
 
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