At least 10 people are confirmed lost after a United Nations
helicopter crashed Monday in a mountainous region of eastern
Weather conditions at the time of the accident were reportedly
poor, with rain showers cancelling several commercial flights in
the country. Witnesses said the helicopter -- a Russian-made Mil-17
-- was hit by lightning immediately before the accident.
Rescue and recovery efforts were also hampered by low cloud
cover and rain showers.
"Seven United Nations personnel and three crew were on the
helicopter," UN spokesman Keiran Dwyer told Agence-France Presse.
Officials with Nepal's home ministry say as many as 12 people were
onboard the helicopter, which was returning from a camp for former
"The government of Nepal is extremely saddened by the loss and
we will undertake recovery work as soon as the weather permits,"
said Home ministry spokesman Modraj Dottel.
UN personnel are in Nepal to monitor a peace deal between former
Maoist rebels and the government, and to assist in upcoming