AA87 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 207 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3387 times:
Does anyone have any reliable information on the cause of last week's helicopter crash in Nepal ? While I didn't know them personally, I lost 2 colleagues. Seems weather related, but no indication as to mechanical, pilot error or comibination. Thanks for any info.
The death of all 24 people on board a WWF helicopter which crashed in eastern Nepal is a human tragedy and also a catastrophe for Nepal, which has lost a starry line-up of internationally renowned conservationists.
In the words of Gabriel Campbell, an American conservationist based here: "It would be almost impossible to assemble a more remarkable group of conservationists and Himalayan scholars - pioneers in helping local people understand and conserve their natural resources."
Rescuers in Nepal have recovered the bodies of 24 people killed in a helicopter crash, officials say. Bad weather at the crash site near a remote eastern village had prevented rescue operations since the weekend.
The helicopter went missing on Saturday and rescuers spotted its wreckage in Taplejung district on Sunday evening. On Wedensday an army helicopter flew the bodies, many damaged beyond recognition, to the capital. State-run television showed live pictures of troops unloading the remains at Katmandu airport, from where the bodies were taken for post mortems and identification. A temporary helipad was constructed near the crash site to help retrieve the bodies.
"Rescuers have collected pieces of bodies in bags from the steep slopes and are carrying them down," Reuters news agency quoted local police inspector Mahendra Shrestha as saying earlier on Wednesday. "It will take a couple of hours for the rescuers to carry the remains of the bodies to the place where helicopters can land and then they will be taken to Kathmandu."
The BBC's Charles Haviland in Kathmandu says the terrain was as big a problem as the weather. The landscape around Taplejung is dominated by cliffs and gorges and forests so thick that helicopters cannot drop ropes to the ground. The bodies of the 24 victims were lowered by rope systems down the mountains before being taken to the capital.
The private Shree Airlines helicopter crashed minutes after it took off from Ghunsa in Taplejung. [...] Reports quote local people as saying they heard a loud bang shortly after the helicopter took off. The helicopter party was returning from a landmark ceremony to hand over the Kanchenjunga conservation area from the government to the local community. The helicopter, identified as a Russian-made Mi-172, had been on a 20-minute flight to a local airport, where the passengers had been due to take a flight to Kathmandu.