Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

3 killed as plane crashes into helicopter at Mount Everest airfield

3 killed as plane crashes into helicopter at Mount Everest airfield

The Twin Otter Summit Air plane was taking off from Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla when it collided with the Manang Air helicopter this morning.

The helicopter was stationary at the airport when the incident occurred, reports said.

In the springtime, domestic airlines conduct over 50 flights every day to Lukla airport, known as Tenzing Hillary airport, featuring vibrant terrains and harsh weather patterns.

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A co-pilot of the turbo-prop Let-410 plane run by Summit Air, which was bound for Kathmandu, and a police officer on the ground were killed on the spot.

Chief at the Tribhuvan International Airport Raj Kumar Chhetri said the injured persons have been flown on a chopper to Kathmandu for treatment.

The plane skidded off the runaway, hitting the helicopter of Manang Air.

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'The plane slipped towards the helipad during take-off and collided with two helicopters. It is often referred to as one of the most hard and risky airports in the world because of a short runway (527 metres) and challenging terrain.

Lukla airport is the nearest airport to Mount Everest, while April-May is the peak climbing season in the Himalayan country. On May 27, 2017, one Summit Air plane had crashed while trying to land, killing both pilots. However, the identity of the people killed in the crash is still unknown.

Nepal has been criticised for poor safety measures, with the European Union denying Nepalese airlines access to its airspace since 2013.

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