Nepal | May 25, 2020

Twelve-year toll in Taplejung air crashes 31, including ministers

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Panchthar, February 28

A total of 31 persons including ministers have lost their lives in two air crashes in Taplejung district in the past 12 years.

In the first crash on 23 September 2006, as many as 24 persons, including then forest minister Gopal Rai and geologist Dr Harka Gurung, lost their lives when an aircraft carrying them had collided with Dhungje hill in Ghunsa of Taplejung.

Besides the minister and the geologist, the minister’s wife Mina Rai, World Wildlife Fund Nepal representative Chandra Prasad Gurung, Forest Secretary Damodar Parajuli, National Park Department Director General Narayan Prasad Poudel, Forest Department DG Sharad Rai, along with a few foreigners and conservationists, among others, had died in the crash.

The team was heading to Taplejung to hand over Kanchanjungha Conservation Programme to the local community when the accident took place.

Twelve years after the first crash, yet another crash involving a helicopter cost the life of another government minister in the district yesterday.

Minister of Culture and Tourism Rabindra Adhikari and six others, who had come for interaction with the locals regarding the construction of an airport in Chuhandanda, Terhathum, lost their lives while returning to Kathmandu after a brief stopover at the Pathibhara shrine in Taplejung.

Soon after the minister’s team had flown from the shrine, the helicopter carrying them ploughed into a cliff; resulting in the death of all on board.

“It was barely a minute after the minister’s team had flown, the chopper crashed with Tarebhir cliff of Furumbu in Phungling-10,” said Taplejung District Police Office Chief DSP Sanjaya Singh Thapa.

Besides the minister, Yeti Airlines Chairperson Angchhiring Sherpa, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Deputy Director Birendra Prasad Shrestha, CAAN engineer Dhruv Bhochibhaya, Under-secretary Yuvaraj Dahal at the Prime Minister’s Office, helicopter Captain Prabhakar KC and Minister Adhikari’s personal security officer Arjun Ghimire died in the accident.

After the bodies were extracted and taken to Suketar by Nepali Army choppers, they were taken to Kathmandu today, DSP Thapa said.

All those mobilised for the rescue have returned to Phungling via land.


A version of this article appears in print on March 01, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Bayern cruise past Frankfurt 5-2 to stay on title track

Bayern stay four points clear at top Dortmund beat Wolfsburg 2-0 Havertz brace sends Leverkusen past Gladbach BERLIN: Bayern Munich beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 on Saturday, surviving a brief second-half comeback scare to stay four points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the  Read More...

Nepal's Constitution

JSP-N seeks NC support for constitution amendment

Kathmandu, May 23 Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal leaders today met Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and urged him to support their demands for constitution amendment to address the demands of marginalised communities, including the Madhesis and Janajatis, when the Parliament would amend Read More...

Oli avoids NCP secretariat meeting on MCC

Kathmandu, May 23 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli did not attend a meeting called by the Secretariat of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) today to discuss the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement and some budgetary issues. Party Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said that other leader Read More...

Grande Hospital staffer infected

KATHMANDU: The person who tested positive for coronavirus in Kathmandu on Saturday is a staffer at Grande International Hospital. He used to bring laboratory samples collected from the hospital to the National Public Health Laboratory. Contact tracing of the person will begin on Sunday,” sai Read More...

19 new cases confirmed on Sunday, nationwide COVID-19 count reaches 603

KATHMANDU: Nineteen new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Population, today, taking the nationwide tally to 603. The infections were confirmed through tests carried out at Provincial Public Health Laboratory, Biratnagar, Provincial Public Health Laboratory, Bhair Read More...

Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund ease past Wolfsburg 2-0 to stay in title hunt

Dortmund make it six wins in a row Hummels taken off with heel injury BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund scored a goal in each half through Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi to beat hosts VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 on Saturday for their sixth straight Bundesliga win to stay on the heels of leaders Bay Read More...

22 health workers, including 5 doctors, to be kept in isolation

Hetauda, May 23 Hetauda Hospital has decided to keep 22 health workers and staffers, including its medical superintendent, in isolation for a week after a woman referred from the hospital to Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj for treatment tested positive for COVID-19. The wom Read More...

Hotels to provide rooms to quarantine healthcare workers

Kathmandu, May 23 Tourist standard hotels within the valley have reached agreement with the government to provide rooms to healthcare workers fighting on the frontline against the COVID-19 pandemic. A meeting yesterday between Nepal Tourism Board and Federation of Hotel Entrepreneurs decided t Read More...