A helicopter, with seven people on board crashed into a hillside in Central Nepal today, news agency reported. The aircraft belonged to Altitude Air airline, officials said.
Six passengers, including a Japanese National, died after a chopper and one female passenger has been rescued, said Chief District Officer of Nuwakot District, Uddab Bahadur Thapa.
The chopper was en route from Samagaun of Gorkha district to Kathmandu. The air traffic control tower lost contact with the single-pilot helicopter at 8:05 am, according to a report by Kathmandu Post.
Five Nepalis along with a Japanese trekker and the pilot were on board the chopper, Nima Nuru Sherpa, Managing Director at Altitude Air Pvt. Ltd, said.
Tribhuvan International Airport General manager Rajkumar Chhetri said that the wreckage of the chopper had been found on a forested hillside in Dhadhing district, which is 50 kilometers away from Kathmandu.
“We are trying to reach the crash site by air and on foot. But the weather is hampering our rescue operations,” Chhetri told . Search and rescue operations were underway.
The helicopter was supposed to land in Kathmandu at 8:18 am. The private helicopter industry has been flourishing in Nepal since the last many years, as tourists and goods are flown to remote area of the Himalayan country, where the road access is limited, or in a few cases non-existent.
However, the nation has a poor air safety record because of the poorly trained staff and inadequate maintenance,reported. In 2016, seven people were killed after a chopper crashed 22 kilometers of the national capital, Kathmandu.>