Catastrophic Ghunsa chopper crash completes 14 years

Taplejung, Sept 23 :

A catastrophic chopper crash that took place at Ghunsa in Faktanglung rural municipality of Taplejung district has completed 14 years today.

In commemoration of the contributions of the noted conservationists who lost their lives in the crash, the Asoj 7 (September 23) today has been marked as the National Conservation Day. Total 24 conservationists including the then Minister of State for Forest Gopal Rai had lost their lives in the tragic accident that occurred on Asoj 7, 2063 BS (23 September 2006).

The helicopter carrying the minister and conservationists met with the accident when it struck the Ghunsa-based Fale Mountain on the way back to Kathmandu after handing over the Kanchanjunga Conservation Area Project to the community. The World Wildlife Fund Nepal had organized the programme to hand over the project to the community.

Minister Rai, his spouse Meena Rai, geography and planning expert Dr Harka Gurung, conservationist Dr Tirthaman Maskey, secretary of the ministry of forest and soil conservation Dr Damodar Prasad Parajuli and director general of the Department of National Park and Wildlife Narayan Poudel had lost their lives in the tragic crash.

A study taskforce formed immediately after the crash had come up with its finding that the accident took place due to unfavourable weather conditions. Janakeshari Raj Pandit coordinated the study task force.

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