Kathmandu: Nepal’s Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari died on Wednesday when the helicopter carrying him crashed in Tehrathum district, said reports.
The Civil Aviation Authority later confirmed that all six people on board had died. The helicopter crashed near Pathibhara in Taplejung district of the country. The Air Dynasty helicopter is known to have been carrying five others at the time of the incident.
According to local media, Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs Prem Kumar Rai confirmed that the helicopter carrying Adhikari and five others had gone missing. Adhikari and his team were on an inspection of a domestic airport, said The Himalayan Times.
Others onboard the helicopter were the pilot, Captain Prabhakar KC, tourism entrepreneur Ang Chhiring Sherpa, security personnel Arjun Ghimire, Prime Minister’s close aide Yubaraj Dahal, Birendra Shrestha, and one other person, who hasn’t been identified yet.
Taplejung Chief District Officer Anuj Bhandari said the locals heard a loud bang before they saw the smoke and fire. Reports also say the tourism minister was to visit Pathibhara Temple before flying to Panchthar to observe the under-construction airport at Chuhan Danda.
The Prime Minister’s Office and Council of Ministers have called for an emergency Cabinet meeting, said reports.