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Nepal princess killed in helicopter crash

KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) -- A Nepalese princess was one of five passengers who died in a helicopter crash in which only the pilot survived, according to Nepal's Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Her husband was one of the ten royals murdered in the palace massacre last June.

The princess was traveling on private helicopter when it crashed Monday morning in a remote area of this Himalayan kingdom.

"There were six passengers, including the pilot and Princess Prekshya," said Nepal's minister for tourism and civil aviation, Bal Bahadur K.C.

"We have reports of only one survivor. The others are feared dead. But we do not know who the survivor is at the moment."

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Princess Prekshya Rajya Laxmi Shah is the younger sister of Nepal's new queen Komal Rajya Laxmi Shah.

Authorities launched a rescue mission in the remote Mugu district of northwestern Nepal, where the French-built Ecureil went down shortly after 11 a.m. (11:45 p.m. ET).

Minister K.C. said the princess and four others in her group had chartered the helicopter Monday morning from Nepalgunj, a town in southwestern Nepal along the Indian border, for a flight to Rara Lake in northwestern Nepal.

The highly mountainous area is extremely difficult to access because of the lack of roads.

After spending some time at the lake, the chopper lifted off for the town of Surkhet, but crashed soon after taking off, the minister said.

Princess Prekshya is the former wife of King Gyanendra's youngest brother Dhirendra, who was killed in the June 1 royal massacre.

Ten royal family members died in the carnage, including the late King Birendra and his entire family.

Prekhsya is also the sister of Birendra's wife, the late Queen Aishwarya.


• Permanent mission of Nepal to the United Nations
• Kantipur online

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