Nepal retrieves bodies of 6 dead in helicopter crash, 5 Mexicans among them

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Authorities in Nepal have retrieved the bodies of all six people killed in a helicopter crash on Tuesday, including five Mexican nationals, authorities said, the latest in a series of air disasters to strike the Himalayan nation.

The cause of the crash near Likkhu, just northeast of the capital of Kathmandu, was not yet known, the civil aviation regulator said, adding that the government would set up a probe committee to investigate.

The helicopter was operated by Manang Air, which ferries tourists seeking a view of the country’s towering peaks, including Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain.

Rescuers have retrieved the bodies of all six, said Sita Adhikari, a regional official in the district of Solukhumbu, the site of the crash.

“The bodies have broken into pieces,” Adhikari added. “More police have been sent to the location. Only then will we know details.”

An airport official, Teknath Sitoula, said a Nepali pilot and the five Mexican nationals had been on board.

“The helicopter took off … in good weather,” said Raju Neupane, a spokesperson for Manang Air. “The weather was not bad. Now we can’t say what caused the crash. It will have to be investigated.”

The rugged mountainous nation has a history of air crashes, as many airlines fly to small airports in remote hills and near peaks shrouded in clouds and cut off from roads.

Nepal’s worst air crash in 30 years killed 71 people in January, when a plane went down near the tourist city of Pokhara, leaving one body unaccounted.