3 killed as plane crashes into helicopter at Mount Everest airfield

Nellie Chapman
April 14, 2019

At least three people were killed and five others were injured when a Summit Air plane collided with two helicopters while taking off from the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Solukhumbu district in Nepal on Sunday, The Kathmandu Post reported.

Seven people, including the country's tourism minister, were killed in February when a helicopter crashed in the hilly east.

"Two people died on the spot and the third one died while undergoing treatment in a hospital in Kathmandu", airport official Pratap Babu Tiwari told Reuters. Among the dead were the pilot of the plane and two police officers who were near the parked helicopter.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Rudra Bahadur Shrestha, who was injured in the incident and airlifted to Kathmandu, died at Grande Hospital, hospital sources said. He said the plane skidded off the runaway, hitting the helicopter of Manang Air.

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A report quoting Suman Pandey, chief executive officer (CEO) at Fish Tail Air, stated that the incident took place at around 9:10 am at Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, a major gateway to Mt Everest.

Four other passengers on board the plane were unhurt.

Tenzing-Hillary airport is often referred to as the world's most unsafe airport because of the short runway and hard approach. It's open only to helicopters and small fixed-wing aircraft.

In May 2017, a cargo flight was landing in Lukla when it lost altitude and crashed into a mountain below the runway, killing both pilots.

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