KATHMANDU: At least three people were killed when a Summit Air 9N AMH (L410) plane collided with a parked (Manang Air) helicopter while taking off for Ramechhap at Lukla airport this morning.
According to Suman Pandey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Fish Tail Air, the incident occurred at around 9:10 am at Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, a major gateway to Mt Everest.
At least three persons including Manang Air (9N- ALC) Pilot CB Gurung have been injured in the incident.
“All injured have been airlifted to Kathmandu and they are undergoing treatment at Grande Hospital,” Pandey added.
The deceased include Summit Air’s co-pilot Sujit Dhungana and Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Ram Bahadur Khadka who was stationed in Lukla for airport security, airport officials at Lukla said.
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 nearby parked choppers, District Police Office in Solukhumbu said.
According to the press statement issued by Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the Summit Air’s plane and Manang Air’s chopper were completely destroyed in the incident, while another chopper (9N-ALK) belonging to Shree Airlines was partially damaged.
There were no passengers onboard 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.
The airport has been closed following the incident.