3 killed, 4 injured in Nepal plane crash near Mount Everest

Blanche Robertson
April 17, 2019

A co-pilot and two policemen were killed when a Summit Airplane skidded off the runway during take-off and collided with two parked helicopters at Lukla airport on Sunday morning.

Syangboche Karki, a victim of a small aircraft belonging to Summit Air, that crashed with a helicopter parked at Lukla airport, is brought for treatment to a hospital in Kathmandu.

Sitting at an elevation of 2,845 metres, it is used by thousands of trekkers and climbers heading for the Everest region each year.

The Kathmandu Post reported that Airport authorities probing into the matter believe the co-pilot had significantly few flying hours amounting to less than a year and a half experience before taking on the World's Most Dangerous Airport. 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.

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Airport official Ema Nath Adhikari spoke to Straits Times, saying: "The plane slipped toward the helipad during takeoff and collided with two helicopters".

He added the police were tourist cops deployed to the area and that the dead and wounded were all Nepalese.

It is particularly busy in April as the spring mountain climbing season begins. On May 27, 2017, one Summit Air plane had crashed while trying to land, killing both pilots.

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

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