Three dead, four injured after plane crashes into parked helicopter near Mt Everest
Three people have died after a small plane crashed into a parked helicopter during its takeoff at an airstrip near Mount Everest. The incident happened on Sunday when the Summit Airplane was taking off from Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla — the gateway to Everest — when it skidded off the runway and crashed into a Manang Air helicopter parked on a helipad.
Associated Press reported that police spokesman Uttam Raj Subedi said: "The co-pilot and a policeman died at the crash site. Another police officer died in a hospital in Kathmandu." Both the plane and helicopter were private airline firms that work for the benefit of tourists and Nepalese in the country's most remote areas.
Subedi said that the injured were airlifted to Kathmandu by helicopter. Reportedly, the dead included the pilot of the plane and two other police officers who were parked near the helicopter. According to a civil administrator, Narendra Kumar Rana, four passengers, and a flight attendant — who were all on the plane — were safe.
Right after the crash, authorities suspended services at the Tenzing Hillary Airport, aka the Mount Everest gateway. The airport has been dubbed notorious for crashes and accidents because of the short runway and difficult approach. Sitting at an elevation of 9,334 feet (2,845 meters), the dangerous airport is said to be 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. Poor visibility was blamed for the accident, reported Associated Press. In February, a helicopter flying in bad weather crashed into a mountain in northeastern Nepal, killing all seven people on board, including the country’s tourism minister.