Officials announced that the bodies of five passengers and one pilot have been recovered after a tourist helicopter crashed near Mount Everest in Nepal.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal released a statement early Tuesday morning informing the public that it had lost contact with Manang Air helicopter 9N-AMV (AS 50) at 10:05 local time and that search and rescue was looking for the helicopter.
Hours later, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal provided an update, announcing that all six people on the helicopter had been killed and that the bodies had been air-lifted to T.U. Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu.
According to The Independent, the five passengers included two Mexican men and three Mexican women tourists. The names of the passengers were Sifuentes G. Fernando, Gonzalez Abric, Gonzalez Olacio Luz, Sifuentes G. Maria Jose, and Rincon Ismael. The pilot was identified by authorities as Captain C.B Gurung, a Nepalese pilot.
The helicopter reportedly was flying back from a sightseeing trip near Mount Everest before crashing in the Lamajura area of Likhupike Rural Municipality in the Solukhumbu district. The helicopter’s original flight is reported to have been altered as a result of poor weather conditions, which is a common occurrence at this time of the year in Nepal.
In a statement shared on Twitter, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said, “Manang Air helicopter 9N-AMV (AS50) which went missing this morning at 10:13 Local Time, found crashed at Solukhumbu district Likhupike, Ward No. 5 near Lamjura. Locals and the police who reached the crashed site reported all 6 persons including Pilot dead.”
According to The Independent, the reason for Tuesday’s tragic helicopter crash is not yet known. However, Nepal’s civil aviation regulator has announced that the government will form a committee to investigate the incident.
Sita Adhikari, a regional official in Solukhumbu, described the recovery of the six bodies, saying, “The bodies have broken into pieces.”
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.