Nepal plane hits parked helicopter while taking off, killing three

(This April 14 story corrects aircraft type, makes clear it was not a Twin Otter in paragraph 2)

By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – A small plane operated by a private airline in Nepal hit a parked helicopter on Sunday while preparing to take off in a mountainous area near Mount Everest, killing three people including a co-pilot, an airport official said.

The Let L-410 aircraft crashed into the helicopter at Tenzing Hillary Airport at Lukla, known as the gateway to the world’s highest mountain, 125 km (78 miles) northeast of the capital, Kathmandu.

The plane, operated by Summit Air, was not carrying passengers as it was trying to leave what is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous airports due to the shortness of its runway and its location surrounded by mountains.

Officials said the cause of the incident was not immediately known.

“Two people died on the spot and the third one died while undergoing treatment in a hospital in Kathmandu,” airport official Pratap Babu Tiwari told Reuters.

The dead included two security guards who were near the helicopter. The pilot of the plane was among three people injured, though the lone stewardess escaped unhurt.

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

Slideshow (8 Images)

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

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.

In 2008, a Twin Otter plane carrying 16 passengers and three crew crashed shortly before it was due to land at Lukla.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Krishna N. Das and Jan Harvey

Source

more recommended stories

  • Thousands march in Hong Kong; China frees UK mission worker

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong.

  • North Korea’s latest short-range missile launch complicates U.S. attempts for talks

    SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea fired.

  • Lithuanian human chain links anti-Soviet and Hong Kong protesters

    VILNIUS (Reuters) – As protesters formed.

  • EU countries agree to share out Ocean Viking migrants

    BRUSSELS/MILAN (Reuters) – Six European Union.

  • Billionaire industrialist and conservative donor David Koch dies at age 79

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Billionaire industrialist David.

  • The sky never goes dark while the Amazon burns

    HUMAITA, Brazil (Reuters) – There are.

  • Half a century on, Soviet message in a bottle found in Alaska

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Tyler Ivanoff, an.

  • Japan says ending intelligence pact shows South Korea fails to appreciate North Korean threat

    FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Defence Minister Takeshi.

  • Ocean Viking rescue ship awaits port access in latest migrant standoff

    MILAN (Reuters) – Two charities running.

  • French mayors ban glyphosate weedkiller, defying government

    RENNES, France (Reuters) – Some 20.

  • Ukraine, EU oppose Trump’s suggestion of readmitting Russia to G7

    KIEV/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president backed.

  • Israel eases rules on cyber weapons exports despite criticism

    TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel is.

  • Dutch government considers major investment push – paper

    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government.

  • Washington Governor Inslee withdraws bid for U.S. Democratic presidential nomination

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington state Governor.

  • U.S. charges Kansas researcher over ties to Chinese university

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A researcher at.

  • Canada’s Trudeau says won’t back down in dispute with China, urges restraint in Hong Kong

    OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister.

  • Nigeria’s Buhari assigns cabinet portfolios, appoints new oil minister

    FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

  • More than 2,000 people displaced, 19 killed in Myanmar fighting

    YANGON (Reuters) – More than 2,000.

  • Moderate Islamists make new power quest in Tunisia

    TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s moderate Islamists.

  • Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell to learn fate on child sex offences appeal

    George Pell arrives at the Supreme.

  • China hopes U.S. will come back to the table at Chile climate talks

    By Natalia A. Ramos Miranda and.

  • Syrian army poised to take key town after rebel withdrawals

    BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian government forces.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo says ISIS strong in some areas -CBS

    FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State.

  • Tensions build on migrant ship off Italy; 10 jump overboard

    MADRID/LAMPEDUSA (Reuters) – Tensions rose on.

  • Space telescope offers rare glimpse of Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

    (Reuters) – Direct observations from a.

  • U.S. envoy offers farm visas to boost asylum deal with Guatemala

    GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – In a.

  • In retrial, El Salvador acquits woman accused of killing her stillborn child

    CIUDAD DELGADO, El Salvador (Reuters) –.

  • Washington cannot influence China’s decisions on Hong Kong – Global Times tabloid

    FILE PHOTO: Anti-extradition bill protesters march.

  • Polish opposition unites in bid to wrest Senate from ruling nationalists

    WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish opposition parties.

  • Afghanistan blasts wound dozens on Independence Day

    KABUL (Reuters) – A series of.

  • Trump affirms that Mike Pence will be 2020 running mate

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald.

  • Chinese embassy tells Canada to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs

    OTTAWA (Reuters) – China’s embassy in.