A private helicopter with six people aboard went missing near the Mount Everest area in Nepal on Tuesday. According to officials, the Manang Air NA-MV chopper took off from Surke airport in Solukhumbu. There were five Mexican nationals in the helicopter, said officials.
“The chopper was en route to Kathmandu from Solukhumbu and got disconnected with the control tower at around 10 in the morning,” said Information Officer Gyanendra Bhul at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). The helicopter got off the radar at 10:12 AM (Local Time). “Total persons on board: 6 (5 passengers + 1 captain). Altitude Air helicopter departed from Kathmandu for search and rescue,” tweeted Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.
Manang Air helicopter 9N-AMV (AS 50) which departed from Surke (Solukhumbu) to Kathmandu at 10:05 local time is out of contact.
Total persons on board: 6
(5 passengers + 1 captain).
Altitude Air helicopter departed from Kathmandu for search and rescue.
— Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (@hello_CAANepal) July 11, 2023
According to police search team found the wreckage of missing helicopter and five bodies were recovered. “The helicopter has been found at the border of Likhu PK village council and Dudhkunda Municipality-2 commonly called Lamajura Danda. The villagers have retrieved the five bodies,” Koshi Province Police DIG Rajeshnath Bastola tells ANI.
As per the police, the helicopter seems to have hit a tree on the hilltop. However, the exact reason of the crash is yet to be known. “Identities of the retrieved bodies are yet to be ascertained,” Bastola added. The helicopter crashed in the Lamjura area of Likhupike rural municipality. The rescue operations are underway, said officials.
The locals in the area informed the officials that a loud explosion was heard and fire was seen at the crash site. “The locals discovered the crashed helicopter at Chihandanda,” rural muncipality deputy chair Nwang Lhakpa was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post newspaper. Though two helicopters were sent to locate the crash site, it had return due to bad weather.
The bodies of five of the six people on board the helicopter were found at the crash site, reported MyRepublica news portal. Earlier, TIA spokesperson Teknath Sitaula told the news website, “It has been reported that the helicopter of Manang Air is out of contact, there is no contact with the tower when it reached the Lamjura pass, it was reported that the helicopter only received a ‘hello’ message on Viber, the search is underway”