KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s minister of tourism and six other people were killed on Wednesday when their helicopter crashed in an eastern region of the Himalayan nation, police officials said.
The helicopter, operated by Air Dynasty, crashed in the mountainous district of Taplejung while on a trip to look at the feasibility of constructing an airport in the area. Everyone aboard was killed, including the tourism minister, Rabindra Adhikari, and the pilot.
Raj Kumar Chhetri, general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport, which serves Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, said the crash, in a region that borders both India and Tibet, had probably been caused by bad weather.
A spokesman for the Nepalese police, Uttam Raj Subedi, said that the bodies had been recovered and that officials were trying to bring them back to Kathmandu.
Mr. Adhikari, a three-time member of the Nepalese Parliament, took up his post as tourism minister a year ago. He had made it a priority to develop the country’s remotest airports and to fast-track stalled infrastructure projects.
Last year, he also initiated a government investigation into a multimillion-dollar helicopter rescue fraud that targeted trekkers heading to Mount Everest and other peaks.
“I am really shocked,” Deepak Joshi, the chief executive of the Nepal Tourism Board, said of the accident on Wednesday. “This is a big loss for the tourism industry.”
Others aboard the helicopter were Mr. Adhikari’s security guard, Arjun Ghimire; Ang Tshiring Sherpa, a businessman whose ventures include travel companies; the pilot, Prabhakar KC; Birendra Shrestha; Dhruba Bhocchibhoya; and Yuvaraj Dahal.
Nepal has a poor record on flight safety. In 2013, the European Union banned all Nepal-based airlines from flying in the airspace of the 28-member bloc.
Last year, a Bangladeshi airplane crashed at Tribhuvan Airport, killing 51 people on board. A government inquiry blamed the Bangladeshi pilot and local air traffic controllers for a “lack of assertiveness” in safely guiding the twin-engine turboprop to the ground.