Five Dolakha locals also died in US chopper crash, confirms NA

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Five Dolakha locals also died in US chopper crash, confirms NA

Jun 5, 2015-

Nepal Army confirmed on Friday that five civilians who were missing from Dolakha were also killed along with six US marines and two Nepal Army personnel in the UH-1Y Huey helicopter that crashed at Ghorthali in Sindhupalchok on May 12.

A joint investigation by the Army and an expert team from the United Sates confirmed through DNA tests that Dhurba Katwal, Lok Bahadur Katwal, Shiva Khatri and Yam Bahadur Khatri of Laduk VDC and Sabirti Siwakoti of Lamidanda VDC in Dolkha died in the crash. The Huey helicopter had airlifted the inured locals from Singati on the day for treatment in Kathmandu. The US marine’s chopper that went missing on May 12 during its search-and-rescue operation was found crashed three days later at a height of 11,200 feet in Ghorthali.

According to Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Jadish Chandra Pokharel, the confirmation was made after matching the DNA samples of the deceased family with the samples of their family members. The Army had collected the DNA samples of the relatives of the missing locals last week.

The search for the five people was started only after they could not be found at any hospital in Kathmandu even 13 days after they were airlifted from the district.

“We are preparing to hand over the bodies to the family members,” Pokhrel said. The body of Lieutenant Tapendra Rawal was handed over to his family in Dailekh where his last rites were performed last week. The body of Warrant Officer Basant Bahadur Titara will also been handed over to his family soon, according to the Army.

The US Embassy in Nepal said that Nepali and US armies have been coordinating on the identification of the remains of the five civilians who lost their lives in the crash. “We offer heartfelt condolences to all those who lost their lives in this tragic accident,” said Susan Parker-Jones, director of Public Affairs at the Embassy.

Published: 06-06-2015 10:19

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