French trekkers in lucky helicopter escape

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Three French trekkers had a lucky escape when their helicopter crashed at a remote Himalayan base camp.

30 June 2008

KATHMANDU - Three French trekkers had a lucky escape Sunday when their helicopter crash-landed at a remote Himalayan base camp.

"Our helicopter had a minor accident just as it was taking off from Annapurna base camp," said Ashish Sherchan, the director of Fishtail Air, whose chopper was flying the trekkers to the nearby tourist hub of Pokhara.

"The tail hit the ground, and the helicopter has been slightly damaged but there were no casualties among the three French tourists and pilot," after the accident at around 4,000 metres, the company official said.

The three tourists were later taken by army helicopter to Pokhara, 150 kilometres northwest of Kathmandu.

"Had the chopper been much higher there would have been casualties," Sherchan said.

The trekkers had completed the Annapurna circuit, one of the best known trekking routes in tourism-dependent Nepal, whose northern border with China is the stunning Himalayan range.

[AFP / Expatica]

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