File photo taken on June 2, 2017 shows a helicopter of Altitude Air landing at Lukla Airport, Nepal. A domestic helicopter of Altitude Air has gone missing in Central Nepal since Saturday morning, government authorities said. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)
KATHMANDU, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- A domestic helicopter of Altitude Air has gone missing in Central Nepal since Saturday morning, government authorities said.
"A helicopter en route from Samagaun of Gorkha district to Kathmandu has gone missing since this morning. We are trying to ascertain the details," Raj Kumar Chhetri, general manager at Tribhuvan International Airport, told Xinhua.
According to him, the ill-fated helicopter with a call sign 9N-ALS was carrying five passengers and a pilot. The chopper lost the communication since 7:45 a.m. local time.
At the same time, according to a local English daily the Himalayan Times, Nima Nuru Sherpa, managing director at Altitude Air Pvt. Ltd., said that there were six passengers including a Japanese tourist and five Nepalese on board, except one pilot.
Though some local media reported about the possible crash in Dhading district, 50 km away from the capital, the authorities could not confirm as the search and rescue operation is underway.
Samagaun is a popular trekking stop in Gorkha district, which falls on the way to Mount Manaslu Base Camp.
September-October is regarded as the peak season for Manaslu expedition and trekking, which sees a large number of foreign tourists.
Nobody in the airlines answered calls from Xinhua for further information.