Kathmandu, Feb 28- The government has decided to declare tomorrow, February 28 as National Mourning Day, while declaring it a public holiday, to mourn the tragic demise of seven people including Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Prasad Adhikari in a helicopter accident this afternoon.

The cabinet meeting earlier today decided to close down all government and public offices, education institutions and diplomatic missions, as well as to fly the national flag at half mast in all government offices. A decision was also taken to cremate the dead with state honours, according to Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa.

The government has also formed a four-member probe commission led by former Secretary Yagya Prasad Gautam to investigate into the fatal crash of the helicopter and submit a report along with recommendations. Other members of the commission are Brigadier General of Nepal Army Dipak Prasad Bastola, retired Colonel Pramod Lama and Joint-secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane.

Describing the incident as unimaginable, unprecedented and unfortunate, the Government has also expressed profound sorrow over the incident and wished for eternal peace of the departed souls. The cabinet meeting also decided to extend heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the members of the bereaved family.

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