Gerard died tragically near Malchin in the mountainous province of Uvs, Mongolia on Sunday January 14 January 2001 when the MI8 helicopter in which he was travelling spun out of control and plunged 50m into the snow-covered wilderness in bitterly cold conditions.  Gerard and other members of a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team were en route to the Province of Uvs, about 600 miles west of the Capital, Ulan Bator. The team were preparing a needs assessment after the second year of summer drought followed by heavy winter snow. These conditions were decimating the livestock population, posing a serious threat to the largely nomadic population of the country.


Other UN team members  killed in the crash were its leader, Sabine Metzner-Strack of Germany; Matthew Girvin of the United States, who was with UNICEF and Ms. Batchuluun Bayarmaa of Mongolia, a local employee of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). 


Passengers accompanying the UN team who also lost their lives were Mr. Tsevegmid Batzolig - Photographer from Gamma agency (Mongolian) Mr. Shagdar Otgonbileg - Member of Parliament (Mongolian) Mr. Dashdavaa Otgon - Helicopter technician (Mongolian) Mr. Minoru Masaki - NHK TV cameraman (Japanese) Mr. Takahiro Kato - NHK TV reporter (Japanese).

The tragic helicopter crash

© 2003 Copyright Gerard Le Claire Environmental Trust