UN helicopter crash kills 10 in Nepal

NEW DELHI, March 3 (RIA Novosti) - A helicopter carrying United Nations personnel crashed in east Nepal on Monday killing at least 10 people, local officials said.

The accident occurred near the mountain village of Bethani, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of the capital Kathmandu, late on Monday afternoon. Rescuers have so far found 10 bodies in the wreckage.

A spokesperson for the company operating the helicopter told RIA Novosti that 11 people - three crew members and eight UN personnel including two Russians and one Belarusian - were on board at the time of the tragedy.

The helicopter, a Russian-built Mi-17, was on its way to Sindhuli when it lost contact with air traffic control in Kathmandu.

There are currently some 12,000 Mi-17 helicopters (NATO reporting name Hip-H) in use all over the world, and 70 countries have officially adopted them for military service.

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