Death toll rises to 3 in aircraft collision in Nepal's Lukla airport

A hospital official loads a dead body of a plane crash victim into an ambulance outside the Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu Nepal Sunday

As many as three people were killed and three others injured on Sunday morning when a 19-seater plane crashed during takeoff at Lukla Airport in Nepal, officials said.

The incident took place at Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla in Nepal.

Lukla airport official Ema Nath Adhikari told AFP, A co-pilot from the Let-410 run by Summit Air bound for Kathmandu and a police officer on the ground were killed on the spot. a police spokesman confirmed, another policeman died in hospital in Kathmandu.

"All injured have been airlifted to Kathmandu and they are undergoing treatment at Grande Hospital", Pandey was quoted as saying.

The plane crashed into two helicopters, parked some 30 metres from the runway, the official added.

The airport, which is also known by the name of its host town, Lukla, was shut down after the incident.

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The Lukla airport is the nearest airport to Mount Qomolangma, while April-May is the peak climbing season in the Himalayan country.

A civil administrator, Narendra Kumar Rana, said the four passengers and a flight attendant on the plane were safe.

Airstrips in Nepal are traditionally considered to be one of the most unsafe, even for experienced pilots due to the surrounding mountains.

Both aircraft were taking climbers and tourists to the neighbouring Everest region.

Nepal has been criticised for poor safety measures, with the European Union denying Nepalese airlines access to its airspace since 2013.

Last month, seven people, including the country's tourism minister were killed in a helicopter crash in eastern Nepal.

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