The Shree Airlines helicopter carrying 24 people on board missing since Saturday morning has been located two kilometers south west of Ghunsa in Taplejung district. According to the Nepali Army Public Relations office a seven member rescue team located the crash site. None of the passengers have survived the crash and only two of the bodies are in a recognizable state. Rescue attempts had been hampered due to bad weather since the day of the crash. The chopper had lost contact minutes after taking off from Ghunsa and locals had reported hearing a loud explosion causing fears that it might have crashed.
The helicopter was carrying some of Nepal\'s top conservationists including noted geographer Dr Harka Gurung, World Wildlife Fund for Nature Nepal\'s country representative Dr Chandra P Gurung, former director of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Dr Tirtha Man Maskey, Minister of State of Forests and Soil Conservation Gopal Rai, his wife, Acting Secretary - Ministry of State of Forests and Soil Conservation Dr Damodar Parajuli, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Mr Narayan Poudel, Director General of Department of Forests Mr Sharad Rai, Charge d'Affaires Embassy of Finland Pauli Mustonnen, Deputy Director, USAID Ms Margaret Alexander, Program Development Specialist USAID Bijnan Acharya, Conservation Director WWF UK Dr Jill Bowling, Coordinator, WWF UK Ms Jennifer Headley, Managing Director, EHEC, WWF US Mingma Norbu Sherpa, Program Officer, WWF US Matthew Preece, Mrs Yeshi Lama from WWF Nepal, Mr Vijaya Shrestha from FNCCI, Mr Hem Raj Bhandari and Mr Sunil Singh from Nepal Television, Chairperson of Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Management Committee Mr Dawa Tshering, and four crew members consisting of two Russian pilots and two Nepali crew members.
The team had gone to the remote area of Ghunsa in the north-eastern most district of Taplejung for the official handing over of the management of the Kanchenjuna Conservation Area Project to the local community.