Three killed, four seriously injured as plane collides with chopper in Nepal

A police official was among those killed and the injured have been airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment according to The Himalayan Times

At least three people have been killed and four others injured at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Nepal after a small plane crashed into a helicopter during a botched take-off.

Aviation official Raj Kumar Chhetri was cited by The Associated Press as saying that a plane belonging to Summit Air was trying to take off from Lukla for Ramechhap, Nepal, on the morning of Sunday, April 14, when it crashed.

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.

Captain RB Rokaya who was flying the aircraft and Captain Chet Gurung of Manang Air, who was in the helicopter, were also injured in the incident.

The injured were airlifted to Kathmandu by helicopter, Nepal police spokesman Uttam Raj Subedi said.

Both are private airline companies that cater to tourists and Nepalese in the country's remote areas.

The dead included two security guards who were near the helicopter.

The airport, built in 1964, is rated as one of the most unsafe airports in the world due to strong tailwinds and a short runway.

Lukla Airport is located on a mountain at an elevation of 9334 feet (2845 m). Poor visibility was blamed for the accident.

Air crashes are common in mostly mountainous Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountain peaks, including Mount Everest.

In February this year, a chopper carrying seven people including the country's Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari crashed in bad weather in Taplejung district of eastern Nepal, killing all seven on board.



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