Air accident near Mount Everest leaves three dead

Clay Curtis
April 14, 2019

A small passenger plane crashed into a parked helicopter during takeoff at the only airport in Nepal's Everest region on Sunday, killing at least three people and injuring four others, officials said.

A co-pilot of the turbo-prop Let-410 plane run by Summit Air bound for Kathmandu and a police officer on the ground were killed on the spot, Lukla airport official Ema Nath Adhikari told AFP. The dead include one of the pilots of the plane and two police officers who were near the parked helicopter.Police spokesman Uttam Raj Subedi said: "The co-pilot and a policeman died at the crash site". Hoards of people gathered around the aircraft wreckage following the crash as debris was strewn on the ground. The pilot of the plane was among three people injured, though the lone stewardess escaped unhurt. "The injured have been sent to Kathmandu for treatment", Adhikari said.

Lukla airport, also known as Tenzing-Hillary airport, is the gateway to Mt Everest.

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Both aircraft involved in the incident belong to private airline companies that cater to tourists and Nepalese in the country's remote areas.

Lukla airport, also known as Tenzing-Hillary airport, is often referred to as one of the most hard and unsafe airports in the world because of a short runway (527 metres) and challenging terrain.

Reports suggest the plane skidded off the runway to the right and hit the helicopter as it landed from Kathmandu.

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