Air Dynasty helicopter carrying Minister Adhikari crashes

KATHMANDU: A helicopter ferrying the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has crashed near Pathibhara in Taplejung district.

The Air Dynasty helicopter is known to have been carrying five other passengers at the time of the incident.

Travelling with Minister Adhikari were the pilot of the helicopter Captain Prabhakar KC, tourism entrepreneur Ang Tshiring Sherpa, security personnel Arjun Ghimire, Prime Minister's close aide Yubaraj Dahal, Birendra Shrestha, and one other person.

The Chief District Officer of Taplejung, Anuj Bhandari quoted the locals as saying they heard a loud bang followed by a sight of smoke and fire in the area.

It has been learnt that the tourism minister along with other officials had planned to visit Pathibhara Temple and then fly to Panchthar to observe the under-construction airport at Chuhan Danda.

Authorities have rushed to the incident site.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Minister has summoned an emergency cabinet meeting at the official residence of the Prime Minister in Baluwatar.

(Details to follow)