7 including pilot, newborn die in Nuwakot chopper crash

Published On: August 8, 2016 09:30 PM NPT By: Nirajan Paudel/ Narahari Sapkota

NUWAKOT, Aug 8: A helicopter belonging to Fishtail Air crashed at Betini, Belkot VDC-8 of Nuwakot district on Monday, killing all seven on board, including the pilot and a new-born baby.                                       

The ill-fated chopper, call sign 9N AKA, was bound for Kathmandu from Sirdibas VDC in Gorkha district, carrying a 19-year-old woman facing medical complications after childbirth, and her five-day-old baby.

The woman's father-in-law Kitman Gurung, 65 and his wife Agyani Gurung, 56 were also in the chopper.

Similarly, Laxmi Gurung of the same village and health worker Nisha Tamanag of Itahari, Sunsari district, who were accompanying the sick party, perished in the incident. 

Two teams of security personnel - one from District Police Office, Nuwakot and the other from the Armed Police Force Training Center at Kakani - have been deployed to the incident site.
"Priti was very sick even prior to her delivery. She had high fever and a terrible cough and cold. After giving birth, there was bleeding which didn't stop," said Sujan Gurung, a relative.

"We took her to a local health post where she stayed for three days. As there was no sign of improvement, we decided to charter a helicopter and take her to Kathmandu," he added.

The family had to take out a loan of Rs 120,000 for chartering the helicopter. 

Priti Gurung's husband is working in Malaysia.

Weather conditions are  suspected to  be the reason for the fatal crash.

Bad weather is suspected to be the main cause of the Fistail Air helicopter crash on Monday.

The chopper was flying at an altitude of 6,700 feet at the time of the crash, according to Bikash Rana, chairperson of Fistail Air and himself an experienced helicopter pilot. 

It seems the pilot failed to take a quick decision whether or not to enter the clouds, he said. It is, however, not  easy to take a quick decision. Weather conditions can deteriorate within minutes and the pilot might have failed to decide before the aircraft struck the mountain.

Details of the accident will emerge once the investigations are complete, Rana added.

Captain Ranjan Limbu

 Photo Courtesy: Aviation Nepal

[Keshab Thoker/Republica]
In the pictures, above, bodies of Nuwakot helicopter crash victims arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport on Monday evening. The bodies were sent to TU Teaching Hospital for post mortem. The picture below, shows relatives of the chopper crash victims wailing in grief as the bodies arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport Monday afternoon.

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