3 killed after small plane collides with helicopter in Nepal


The injured have been sent to Kathmandu for treatment.

Kathmandu: A small passenger plane veered off the runway while taking off and hit two parked helicopters at Lukla airport in Nepal's Everest region on Sunday, killing a co-pilot and two policemen, officials said.

The airport in Lukla is often referred to as the world's most risky because of the short runway and hard approach. Lukla is the starting point for those looking to trek to Mount Everest base camp.

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

The Summir Air plane was reportedly en route to Kathmandu from Lukla.

"We are not sure about the cause of the accident".

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The plane's pilot, the helicopter's pilot and an airport worker were among the injured. Helicopters were at the scene.

The Lukla airport was built by New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary - who together with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) Everest peak in 1953 - as a gift to the people of the remote Solukhumbu region where it is located.

It is particularly busy in April as the spring mountain climbing season begins.

But the impoverished country has a poor air safety record due to weak training and maintenance.

In February a helicopter carrying seven people including the country's tourism minister crashed in bad weather in eastern Nepal, killing seven all on board.