4 March 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11450

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEPLY SADDENED AT TRAGIC DEATHS OF SEVEN MEMBERS OF UNITED NATIONS


MISSION IN NEPAL, THREE CREW MEMBERS, IN MONDAY’S HELICOPTER CRASH


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General is deeply saddened at the tragic death of seven members of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), as well as three crew members, in the helicopter crash that occurred in a mountainous area east of Kathmandu on Monday.  The helicopter was returning to the capital from the Maoist cantonment site at Sindhuli when it lost contact.  The victims include four arms monitors from Gambia, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and Sweden, as well as three national staff from Nepal and the three-member crew from the Russian Federation and Belarus.


These colleagues lost their lives while serving the United Nations and the cause of peace in Nepal.  The Secretary-General extends his heartfelt condolences to the families and the Governments of those colleagues.


The Secretary-General also expresses his appreciation to the Nepalese authorities for their assistance provided to UNMIN in recovering the remains of the victims, and for the many expressions of sympathy the Mission has received from people in Nepal.


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For information media • not an official record