Chopper on rescue operation crashes in Nepal

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS
Sunday, November 7, 2010

KATHMANDU - Less than three months after an aircraft crashed in Nepal, killing all 14 people on board, a private helicopter running a rescue operation for two stranded mountaineers met with an accident in northeastern Nepal Sunday, police said.

The helicopter belonging to a private company, Fishtail Air, crashed around 8.30 a.m. in the Ama Dablam mountain range rising up to 6,812 metres in the Solukhumbu district, considered the gateway to Mt Everest and other Himalayan ranges.

The helicopter had flown with its Nepali pilot Sabin Basnet and an engineer, Purna Awale, to rescue two mountaineers who had been stranded on the range, police said.

While one of the climbers had been rescued, the accident occurred while the chopper returned to the range for the second climber and crashed while landing.

Police said further details were awaited and a second helicopter had reached the area for rescue operations.

The Solukhumbu region is responsible for the highest number of air crashes due to bad weather and the difficult terrain.

In August, an aircraft flown by a domestic airline, Agni Air, crashed after it was unable to land in northern Nepal and tried to return to Kathmandu.

All 14 people on board died in the crash, including six foreigners.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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