Rescue chopper crashes in Nepal, one killed

Kathmandu, June 19 (IANS) At least one person was killed and three others were injured Wednesday when a chopper, sent for rescuing people affected by landslides and floods, crashed on the banks of the Karnali river on the Nepal-Tibet border, officials said.

The ill-fated helicopter with six people onboard crashed on the banks of the river in Humla district, the district administrative office said. Three people were rescued.

The chopper, belonging to Fishtail Air, was returning after transporting a rescue team to Hilsa village.

Tek Bahadur Patali, a civil aviation staffer, stationed in Humla district, died in the crash, the office said.

“We can confirm the accident of a chopper belonging to Fishtail Air, where six people were onboard including an Italian pilot,” Shree Hari Kuikel, executive manager (operations), told IANS.

“Three people were rescued from the crash site and brought back to district headquarters Simikot. Two others were later airlifted from the crash site,” he said.

Yubaraj Chaudhari, police inspector at the Humla district police office, said a team of police personnel was sent to the crash site.

“The chopper’s tail caught fire after the crash but the blaze was put out,” he said.

Lately, due to frequent air crashes, aviation safety has become a pressing issue in Nepal. Difficult terrain, old aircraft and choppers used in mountain flights and human error are leading to frequent accidents, say experts.

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