KATHMANDU – Tourism and civil aviation minister Rabindra Adhikari and six others were killed when a private helicopter crashed in eastern Nepal’s mountainous Taplejung district, according to a media report.
Besides tourism minister Adhikari, the Air Dynasty helicopter was carrying six others, including Ang Tsering Sherpa, a prominent aviation and hospitality entrepreneur, Yubaraj Dahal, personal aide to prime minister KP Sharma Oli and Birendra Prasad Shrestha, deputy director general of civil aviation authority of Nepal.
All seven on board the helicopter, including the pilot, have been killed in crash, an Air Dynasty official was quoted as saying by the Himalayan Times.
Moments after the chopper was reported missing, local residents in Pathibara area informed the police about a huge flame at the crash site.
The chief district officer of Taplejung, Anuj Bhandari quoted the locals as saying 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 planned to visit Pathibhara Temple and then fly to Panchthar to observe the under-construction airport at Chuhan Danda.
Authorities have rushed to the incident site. Meanwhile, the office of the prime minister and council of minister has summoned an emergency cabinet meeting at the official residence of the prime minister in Baluwatar.