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Three dead in horrific plane crash into helicopter near Mount Everest

15 April 2019

At least two people were killed after an aircraft of Summit Air collided with a helicopter at Lukla Airport in Nepal on Sunday morning, according to local authorities.

Nepal police spokesman Uttam Raj Subedi was cited by New Zealand news service Stuff as saying that the dead included a pilot of the plane and two police officers standing near the parked helicopter. The pilot and three other crew members survived and are being treated at a hospital in Kathmandu after being airlifted there.

"We have received preliminary information that the plane taking off from the airport lost control and hit the chopper", Chief District Officer (CDO) of Solukhumbu Narendra Kumar Rai told Setopati.

The aircraft was operated by Summit Air.

Lukla airport is used by climbers heading for the Everest region each and every year.

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The airport, built in 1964, is rated as one of the most risky airports in the world due to strong tailwinds and a short runway. The airfield is notorious for its short runway and perilous approach, sitting at an elevation of over 2,800 meters.

It is particularly busy in April as the spring mountain climbing season begins.

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

Seven people, including the country's tourism minister, were killed in February when a helicopter crashed in the hilly east.

Three dead in horrific plane crash into helicopter near Mount Everest