The small plane bound for Kathmandu was taking off at Tenzing–Hillary Airport when it veered off the runway, smashing into two helicopters, resulting in three deaths and injuring three others, according to officials.
The plane’s pilot and two police officers who were standing near the helicopter died. However, reasons for the crash are still unclear as officials have said that the weather was good, with flights resuming operations on the same day.
Also known as Lukla Airport, the airbase is Everest region’s main gateway, used by thousands of trekkers headed for the snow-capped region yearly. It’s also widely regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous airports, its short runway and encircling mountains making it difficult for take-offs and landings.
The popular airport gets particularly busy in April as the season for spring mountain climbing arrives, however, the impoverished country is not known for its air safety records.
In February this year, seven people – including Nepal’s tourism minister – were killed in a helicopter crash. In 2008, 18 people died when a plane tried to land unsuccessfully at Lukla Airport. The European Union has also banned Nepalese airlines from its airspace.