5 killed in Nepal helicopter crash: police

A helicopter crashed Saturday outside the capital Kathmandu, killing five people including a Japanese man and injuring one, according to local police.

The helicopter, carrying seven people including the pilot, was heading from the central district of Gorkha to Kathmandu when it clipped trees and crashed on a hilltop in a densely forested area between Dhading and Nuwakot districts, about 50 kilometers from the capital.

Among the dead who have been identified so far are Japanese national Hiromi Komatsu, 67, and the chopper’s pilot, Superintendent of Police Basanta Kunwar told Kyodo News by phone.

One woman survived the crash with serious injuries and another person is missing, he said, adding that besides Komatsu all the passengers and the pilot were Nepali nationals.

Komatsu was flying to Kathmandu for treatment after falling ill in the course of climbing Mt. Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest peak, in western Nepal.

Although the cause of the crash is unclear, authorities suspect weather may have played a role, as cloudy and drizzling conditions in the area are not uncommon.

All — Kyodo News+

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