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UN Staff Union Urges Full Probe Into Nepal Helicopter Crash


The U.N. Staff Union's security panel has called for a full investigation of a helicopter crash in eastern Nepal that killed seven United Nations personnel and a three-member crew.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the committee also urged U.N. management to examine its contracting practices for aircraft and policies on air safety.

The panel said there have been 10 fatal helicopter crashes involving United Nations or U.N.-contracted helicopters since 1997 that have killed at least 90 U.N. personnel.

Also Tuesday, the U.N. identified the seven personnel killed in the crash Monday as four arms monitors from Gambia, Indonesia, South Korea and Sweden and three Nepalese. The crew consisted of two Russians and one Belarusian.

The helicopter went down in bad weather as it flew from a camp at Sindhuli, where U.N. personnel monitor the disarming of former Maoist rebels.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the crash victims died while serving the cause of peace in Nepal. He extended "heartfelt condolences" to the families and governments of those killed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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