At least three people were killed when a Summit Air plane collided with a parked (Manang Air) helicopter while taking off for Ramechhap at Lukla airport in Nepal on Sunday morning.
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.
At least four persons including Manang Air Pilot CB Gurung have been also been injured in the crash, the report added.
“All injured have been airlifted to Kathmandu and they are undergoing treatment at Grande Hospital,” Pandey was quoted as saying.
The deceased include Summit Air’s co-pilot Sunil Dhungana and assistant sub-inspector of police Ram Bahadur Khadka, who was stationed in Lukla for airport security, airport officials at Lukla were quoted as stating.
According to sources at Grande Hospital, sub-inspector of Nepal Police Rudra Bahadur Shrestha who was seriously injured, breathed his last while undergoing treatment.
The incident occurred after Summit Air aircraft with crew members on board took the wrong direction on take-off and hit the nearby parked chopper, District Police Office in Solukhumbu said.
There were no passengers on board while the aircraft took off for Manthali, a police officer said.
Summit Air’s pilot Captain RB Rokaya and flight attendant R Lama are safe.
Bodies of the deceased have been airlifted to Kathmandu for postmortem.