Seven persons including Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari have been killed in a helicopter accident near Pathivara Temple in Taplejung District.
Air Dynasty’s Helicopter A 350 carrying seven passengers including minister Adhikari crashed in Sisne Khola area, 6 nm (nautical miles) from Taplejung at around 1:30 pm.
Those killed in the accident included pilot of the helicopter Captain Prabhakar KC, tourism entrepreneur Ang Tshiring Sherpa, security personnel Arjun Ghimire, Under-Secretary at the Prime Minister’s office Yubaraj Dahal, Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Birendra Shrestha, and CAAN Engineer Dhruba Das Bhochhibhaya.
According to a media report, locals said that they heard a loud bang followed by a sight of smoke and fire in the area.
It has been learnt that the tourism minister, along with other officials, had visited Pathibhara Temple after attending a program at Chuhan Danda in Panchthar to observe the under-construction airport. The helicopter crashed right after they had taken off again from the temple.
Adverse weather condition is hindering the lifting of bodies. Two helicopters of Nepal Army are flying to the area.