A small plane has crashed into a parked helicopter while preparing to take off near Mount Everest, leaving three dead including the co-pilot.
Summit Air, a privately owned airline based in Nepal, released a statement on its Facebook page confirming its aircraft had an accident during take-off from Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla.
The airline said though there were no passengers on board, three crew members were injured, and first officer Sujit Dhungana later succumbed to his injuries.
Two other men believed to be security guards at the helipad were also killed in the accident.
“I am absolutely shocked. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at Summit Air,” Manoj Karki, managing director of Summit Air said.
“Our first priority now is the well-being of the injured persons and family members of those affected by this unfortunate accident.”
Tenzing-Hillary Airport is considered one of the most dangerous airports in the world due to the shortness of its runway and its proximity to mountainous ranges.
Summit Air released also confirmed the plane’s pilot and flight attendant have been discharged from hospital and the three other injured people, believed to be ground workers, are receiving medical treatment but are out of danger.