Nepal: At least three killed in airplane collision in Solukhumbu

Hospital officials get ready to unload the dead body of a plane crash victim outside the Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu Nepal Sunday

Nepal: At least three killed in airplane collision in Solukhumbu

'The plane slipped towards the helipad during take-off and collided with two helicopters.

The Twin Otter Summit Air plane was taking off from Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla when it collided with the Manang Air helicopter this morning.

Among the dead were the plane's co-pilot and two police officers who were near the parked helicopter, said Nepal police spokesman Uttam Raj Subedi.

Hundreds of foreign climbers head to the mountain region in April to climb Mount Everest during the commercial expedition season, which lasts until May.

The aviation industry of the country has boomed in recent years, flying tourists and goods to remote corners of the Himalayan nation where road access is limited.

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Senior government official Narendra Rana, who was involved in the rescue operations, told Xinhua that the four passengers and a flight attendant on the plane were safe.

Pandey said the accident occurred at around 9:10 a.m. local time at Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, a major gateway to Mount Everest. Three people - the plane's co-pilot and two police officers - were killed in the crash at the airport, which serves as the main gateway to the Everest region and is one of the world's most hard for take-offs and landings. It is open only to helicopters and small fixed-wing aircraft.

Before pilots can land there they must have completed at least 100 short-takeoff-and-landing flights (STOL) and have one year of STOL experience in Nepal and have completed ten missions into Lukla with a certified instructor pilot before they can land at the airport. Poor visibility was blamed for the accident.

Air traffic in the region is nearing its peak as the main... However, the identity of the people killed in the crash is still unknown.

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