KATHMANDU: A senior pilot of an aircraft belonging to Goma Air was killed and two crew members were injured when a cargo plane crashed while landing in foggy weather at a tiny airport in Mt Everest region on Saturday.
“The 9N-AKY airplane with three crew members crashed while landing at Tenzing-Hilary Airport in Lukla just a few minutes ago,” a senior manager at the TIA also confirmed. The deceased has been identified as Paras Kumar Rai, pilot of the 9N-AKY flight, a police officer told THT over phone from Lukla.
Goma Air sources told THT that the cargo plane was piloted by captain Rai, a permanent resident of Bhojpur district, along with a co-pilot Srijan Manandhar while Pragya Maharjan was on board as flight attendant. Rai died on the spot, police claimed.
Rescue operation is being carried out by the locals, Nepal Army and police personnel, an eyewitness told THT over phone. Air hostess Maharjan and co-pilot Manadhar have been rescued, he said, adding that they were being rushed to nearby hospital for treatment.
Two helicopters were put standby at Lukla to airlift the injured to Kathmandu for treatment, an official said. “But, the visibility in Lukla airport is nil right now,” he added.