Tourists among six killed in Nepal helicopter crash near Mount Everest

A bird flies with Mount Everest seen in the background from Namche Bajar, Solukhumbu district, Nepal, May 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File)

All six people aboard a tourist helicopter in Nepal were killed when it crashed soon after take-off near Mount Everest, aviation authorities have said.

"Six bodies have been found at the crash site," Gyanendra Bhul of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal told AFP on Tuesday.

The Manang Air chopper was heading for the capital Kathmandu from near Lukla, the gateway for climbing expeditions to the world's highest peak, but lost contact about 10 minutes after taking off at 10:04 am (0419 GMT).

Nepal is notorious for its poor aviation safety, and the latest incident comes six months after a plane crash in the country's west that killed all 72 people on board.

The Himalayan republic has some of the world's most remote and tricky runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with approaches that pose a challenge even for accomplished pilots.

The weather can also change quickly in the mountains, creating treacherous flying conditions.

Nepal's aviation sector has also been plagued by insufficient training and maintenance.

The European Union has banned all Nepali carriers from its airspace over safety concerns.


Source: TRT