Home NEWS Mount Everest Helicopter Crash Tragedy | July 2023

Mount Everest Helicopter Crash Tragedy | July 2023

by thesummiters.com

Date: July 11, 2023

Mount Everest Helicopter Crash
Mount Everest Helicopter Crash | Crash Site

It was a heart-wrenching Tuesday, July 11, 2023, when a devastating incident unfolded near the iconic Mount Everest, claiming the lives of five Mexican tourists and a Nepali pilot. The unfortunate event occurred during a sightseeing adventure operated by Manang Air, turning what was meant to be a joyous helicopter ride into a tragic crash in the Lamjura Pass, just ten minutes after departing from Surke, Nepal.

This heartrending incident adds to the somber history of Mount Everest, a place that has seen its share of accidents and tragedies over the years. In 2022, the mountain witnessed a grim milestone when eleven individuals lost their lives while attempting to conquer its majestic peak.

Reasoning the Tragedy

Based on eyewitness the helicopter was navigating through challenging low visibility conditions during the crash, with reports of dense fog and rainfall in the area. It is believed that the helicopter may have grazed a mountainside before tragically descending into a ravine.

Local residents swiftly alerted the authorities about the crash. Therefore police and rescue teams were dispatched to the crash site. However the harsh terrain presented significant challenges, leading to several hours of delay before they could reach the scene. Upon arrival, they were met with the heartbreaking reality that all six individuals on board had lost their lives.

Tragedy Strikes as Six Lives Lost in Mount Everest Helicopter Crash

Maria Jose Sifuentes (22): Maria Jose had recently graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), specializing in tourism. Her visit to Nepal was meant to celebrate her graduation with her family and friends.

Maria Jose Sifuentes
Maria Jose Sifuentes

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Fernando Sifuentes (55): Maria Jose’s father, a successful entrepreneur who owned a chain of hotels in Mexico.

Abric Gonzalez (32): A close friend of Maria Jose, Abric Gonzalez was employed as a lawyer at a law firm in Mexico City.

Ismael Rincon (30): Another close friend of Maria Jose’s, Ismael Rincon, worked as a doctor at a hospital in Mexico City.

Olacio Luz Gonzalez (50): Olacio Luz Gonzalez was not only Fernando Sifuentes’s business partner but also a cherished friend of the Sifuentes family.

The Nepali pilot who also lost his life in this tragic event was Chet B. Gurung, aged 55. Gurung was an experienced pilot with a admirable track record at Manang Air known not only for his expertise but also for his warm and friendly personality.

Mount Everest Helicopter Crash | Pilot Died in Crash
Chet B. Gurung, aged 55

The loss of these six lives is an immeasurable tragedy, leaving their families, friends, and communities in profound grief.

Probe into the Crash

While investigations into the Mount Everest helicopter crash are ongoing, preliminary findings have shed light on key areas of focus:

Weather Conditions: The crash took place amidst challenging weather conditions, marked by poor visibility due to heavy fog and rain, factors that may have significantly contributed to the accident.

Helicopter Maintenance Record: Despite being relatively new, constructed in 2021, investigators are meticulously examining the helicopter’s maintenance history, aiming to determine if any prior mechanical issues were known.

Pilot’s Experience: Chet B. Gurung, the pilot, boasted extensive experience flying helicopters in Nepal. Nonetheless, investigators are delving into his previous incidents or accidents, if any.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, the Nepalese government has extended financial support to the grieving families and facilitated the repatriation of their loved ones’ remains.

Moreover, the incident has cast a shadow over Nepal’s tourism industry, with potential tourists expressing concerns about booking helicopter tours.

To address these perceptions the Nepalese government has outlined plans to enforce stricter safety regulations for helicopter tours and enhance infrastructure, including the construction of improved landing pads and helicopter hangars. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the investigation is ongoing, and new revelations may influence future safety measures and infrastructure improvements.

In the interim, tourists considering helicopter tours in Nepal are strongly encouraged to carefully evaluate the associated risks and choose reputable tour operators with proven safety records.

Safety Concerns

The Mount Everest helicopter crash has amplified concerns about the safety of helicopter tours in Nepal. The country has caught with a less than ideal aviation safety record, featuring numerous helicopter accidents in recent times.

In the response of Nepalese government has committed to elevate safety standards for helicopter tours including mandatory licensing for all helicopter operators, routine inspections of helicopters, and comprehensive safety training for pilots.

However, critics argue that more substantial efforts are needed to ensure the safety of tourists visiting Nepal. They advocate for the establishment of a robust aviation safety regulatory framework and significant investments in upgraded infrastructure for helicopter tours.


The Mount Everest helicopter crash serves as a poignant reminder of the inherent risks associated with mountain tourism and underscores the paramount importance of aviation safety. The Nepalese government must take all necessary measures to ensure that helicopter tours in Nepal prioritize safety and responsibility, addressing concerns and preventing future tragedies.

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