Six people including members of a Mexican family aged 95 and 98, lost their lives in a devastating helicopter crash in the Everest region, Sita Adhikari, a local official in the region said.
The incident occurred on Tuesday when a Nepalese pilot was flying the family in the Lamajura area.
The helicopter, operated by Manang Air, was en route to Kathmandu from near Lukla, a popular starting point for Mount Everest expeditions.
Contact with the aircraft was lost only eight minutes after takeoff, as stated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
Following the crash, the bodies of the six victims, who were found “broken into pieces,” were recovered and transported to Kathmandu, Sita Adhikari, the local official in the region said.
Rescue workers were seen carrying body bags from a helicopter. The crash site, located on a bushy hillside, made it challenging for search and rescue helicopters to land due to adverse weather conditions.
The pilot was identified as Captain Chet B Gurung, while the passengers were members of the same family: Sifuentes G. Fernando (95), Sifuentes Rincon Ismail (98), Sifuentes Gongalez Abril (72), Gongalez Olacio Luz (65), and Sifuentes G. Maria Jese (52).
The incident has highlighted Nepal’s air safety concerns, as the country’s aviation sector has experienced multiple accidents in the past.
The challenging terrain and rapidly changing weather conditions in the Himalayan region pose significant challenges to pilots.
Nepal’s aviation industry has faced issues related to training, maintenance, and safety regulations.
The European Union has even imposed a ban on Nepali carriers from its airspace due to safety concerns.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal expressed condolences over the tragic incident, further emphasizing the need for improved safety measures within the country’s aviation sector.