Kathmandu: The crash of a small passenger plane into a parked helicopter at Nepal’s Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla claimed the lives of at least three people, and injured four others, on Sunday, said officials.
During takeoff at the airport, a Czech-manufactured Let L-410 belonging to Summit Air skidded off the runway and hit a Manag Air helicopter, which was parked nearby, aviation official Raj Kumar Chhetri was quoted as saying by the media.
The injured were airlifted to Kathmandu by a helicopter, informed Nepal police spokesman Uttam Raj Subedi. The dead included a pilot of the plane and two police officers, who were near the parked helicopter at the time of the crash.
The four passengers and a flight attendant on board the plane were safe, Narendra Kumar Rana, a civil administrator, was quoted as saying.
Following the crash, authorities suspended services at Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla.
The Tenzing Hillary Airport is one of the world’s most dangerous because of the short runway and difficult approach. Sitting at an elevation of 2,845 metres, it is open only to helicopters and small fixed-wing aircraft. The country’s tourism minister, too, was killed in a helicopter mishap in the Himalayan country earlier this year.