Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli Friday paid tributes to Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari and six others killed in a helicopter crash in the country’s mountainous Taplejung district.
The Air Dynasty helicopter crashed on February 27 killing the 39-year-old tourism minister, Nepal’s prominent aviation and hospitality entrepreneur Ang Tsering Sherpa, Prime Minister’s personal aide Yubaraj Dahal, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Deputy Director General Dhurba Bhochhibhoya, CAAN Deputy Director Yubaraj Dahal, Nepal Army official Arjun Kumar Ghimire and the pilot, Captain Prabhakar KC.
The helicopter burst into flames after it hit a hill while Tourism Minister Adhikari was returning to Kathmandu after visiting famous Hindu temple Pathibhara in Eastern Nepal. The minister accompanied by the technical team from the Ministry of Civil Aviation had gone for a feasibility study for an airstrip in Chuhandanda, in Tehrathum district.
The bodies of the minister and other victims were kept at Tundikhel open ground for tributes. The bodies were taken to Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, for post-mortem and identification, after they were brought to Kathmandu on Thursday.
Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun and House Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara, ministers and senior government officials and leaders of various political parties paid their tributes to the victims.
Minister Adhikari’s body will be kept at Exhibition Centre in Pokhara, his hometown, after it is airlifted from Kathmandu Friday afternoon. Adhikari will be cremated at Ramghat of Kaski district from where he was elected to Parliament.