A search team has found the wreckage of a helicopter that disappeared in Nepal at the weekend and all 24 people on board, including a government minister, are believed dead, officials said on Monday.
"The seven member rescue team found the crashed helicopter and called us. They said there were no survivors," said Himesh Lal Karna, an air traffic official from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan airport.
On board were Nepal's Forest Minister Gopal Rai, a Finnish diplomat, top World Wildlife Fund officials from Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States, as well as Margaret Alexander, the deputy director in Nepal of the US government's international aid arm, USAID.
Four of Nepal's most respected conservationists were also on the helicopter.
Pradeep Gyawali, Nepal's minister for tourism, culture and civil aviation said that the Russian-made MI-17 was "totally destroyed".
He said the wreckage was found close to Ghunsa, where it took off Saturday. The area is a remote mountainous zone covered with thick forest and situated about 480 kms east of the capital Kathmandu.