KATHMANDU, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 8th August, 2016) - A helicopter crashed into a hillside in Nepal on Monday, killing all seven people on board including a baby, officials said. The Kathmandu-bound Fishtail Air helicopter was carrying six passengers when it lost contact with air traffic control about 30 minutes after taking off from the western district of Gorkha. Among them was a new mother seeking medical treatment in the capital.
Villagers alerted authorities after they noticed thick smoke rising from a hillside 22 kilometres (14 miles) north of the capital. "There were five adults and one infant on board as well as the pilot," said Ramesh Shiwakoti of Fishtail Air. "There are no survivors," Shiwakoti told AFP. "Without an investigation, we cannot tell what caused the accident." District chief Bishnu Prasad Pokhrel said rescuers from the army and police have reached the area.
"They are trying to retrieve the bodies," Pokhrel told AFP by telephone from the crash site. Nepal, still reeling from last year's devastating earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people, has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years. Four people, including three staff from medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF), died in June 2015 when a helicopter crashed while delivering aid to quake survivors. That incident came three weeks after a UH-1Y Huey helicopter came down on a relief mission in the north of the country. Six US Marines, two Nepali soldiers and five villagers were killed. The European Union in 2013 banned all Nepalese airlines from flying there following international alarm over Nepal's air safety record.