Govt forms four-member panel to probe Altitude Air chopper crash

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KATHMANDU: The government today formed a four-member commission to investigate into yesterday’s fatal crash of an Altitude Air helicopter in Nuwakot  in which six of seven people including a Japanese tourist on board were killed.

The commission, led by Joint Secretary Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane at the Aviation Safety Division of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, has been assigned to investigate into the accident and submit its report as early as possible.

The commission includes Simrik Air’s Senior Captain Sidhhartha Jung Gurung and Senior Engineer Meghendra Kumar Shrestha of Summit Air as members. The first meeting of the commission will appoint the member-secretary of the panel, according to Lamichhane.

Six people on board the ill-fated helicopter, piloted by senior captain Nischal KC, lost their lives in the crash in remote forest area in Meghang Rural Municipality of Nuwakot district. The helicopter was returning to Kathmandu from Samagaun of Gorkha district ferrying a local patient and other passengers.

Lho Ani Dolma Diki of Gorkha who suffered multiple injuries was rescued alive. She is undergoing treatment at Medicity Hospital in Kathmandu

Nima Nuru Sherpa, managing director at Altitude Air Pvt Ltd said that all bodies of the deceased have been airlifted to TU Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu for post-mortem this morning.

Rescuers retrieved the deceased’s bodies throughout last night with the help of locals, he said, adding that family members would receive the bodies after post-mortem.

Those killed in the crash have been identified as senior captain Nischal KC, Dilli Bahadur Gurung of Ramechhap, Chhiri Sherpa of Dolakha, Chewang Nurbu of Gorkha, Sunil Tamang of Sindhupalchok, and Japanese national Hiromi Komatsu.

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