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Nepal Resumes Search for Missing Helicopter


Rescuers in eastern Nepal have resumed their search for a private helicopter carrying 24 people that went missing during bad weather Saturday.

Authorities said Sunday the passengers included Nepal's minister of forests and soil conservation Gopal Rai, journalists, World Wildlife Fund conservation workers and foreign government officials. They noted that passengers included Nepalese, Finnish, Russian, American, Canadian and Australian citizens.

In a statement on its Web site, the World Wildlife Fund said the group was returning from a visit to a project site in Ghunsa. It said the helicopter ride should have taken only 20 minutes.

The Russian-made MI-17 helicopter disappeared about 500 kilometers east of the capital, Kathmandu.

An aerial search team suspended its efforts to locate the missing helicopter at nightfall Saturday in the remote mountainous region.

The World Wildlife Fund said the group had attended a ceremony marking the handover of the Kanchanjunga Conservation Area Project to the local community.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters