Sun, Nov 07, 2010
Rescue helicopter crashes near Everest

KATHMANDU - A Nepalese pilot who performed the highest helicopter mountain rescue in history is missing after he crashed near Mount Everest early Sunday, a colleague told AFP.

Sabin Basnyat and an engineer were attempting to rescue two climbers from Mount Amadablam, a 6,812-metre (22,349-foot) peak near Everest, when their helicopter crashed.

Witnesses reported seeing it burst into flames before smashing into the mountainside.

"We can confirm that one of our rescue helicopters has crashed in the Everest region. We have sent a helicopter to the scene," said Fishtail Air executive Manoj Gurung.

Earlier this year, Basnyat made history when he piloted the world's highest ever rescue mission, airlifting three sick Spanish climbers from Mount Annapurna.

The rescue, performed almost 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) above sea level on one of the world's tallest and most dangerous mountains, pushed high-altitude helicopter flight to its limits.

Nepal is home to eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world and is a major draw for top climbers. Dozens of people have to be rescued every year after becoming injured or succumbing to altitude sickness.

Fishtail, a privately-owned airline, is the only company in Nepal providing high-altitude helicopter rescue, using a revolutionary technique pioneered by Swiss experts.



Bookmark and Share
  Rescue helicopter crashes near Everest
  Low turnout mars Myanmar's first vote in 20 years
  Taiwan woman 'marries' herself
  Thai party chief adviser to meet Thaksin in Norway
  Nearly 200 teenage girls give birth everyday in Thailand
  Sri Lanka prison clash leaves 48 injured: hospital
  Leaked video edited by Japan Coast Guard
  Malaysia PM released after hospitalisation for gastritis
  Another suspect in Philippine massacre surrenders
  Chinese artist Ai Weiwei blasts 'inhuman' Communist regime
Tomas lashes Haiti, leaving six dead
Bees, snakes test firemen
Cargo ship, Dutch passenger ferry collide in canal
One week after rescue drama, Chile miners fed up with fame
Football: Four rescued Chile miners visit Real Madrid

Elsewhere in AsiaOne...