Three killed in aircraft runway accident near Everest

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"Another police officer died in a hospital in Kathmandu".

A small passenger plane skidded off the runway and smashed into a parked helicopter at the only airport in Nepal's Everest region on Sunday.

The deceased include Summit Air's co-pilot Sunil Dhungana and assistant sub-inspector of police Ram Bahadur Khadka, who was stationed in Lukla for airport security, airport officials at Lukla were quoted as stating.

The incident occurred after Summit Air aircraft with crew members on board took the wrong direction on take-off and hit the nearby parked chopper, District Police Office in Solukhumbu said.

Both are private airline companies that cater to tourists and Nepalese in the country's remote areas.

Tenzing-Hillary Airport is known as the gateway to Everest and is regarded the world's most risky because of its hard approach and short runway.

The four passengers and a flight attendant were safe.

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

Captain RB Rokaya who was flying the aircraft and Captain Chet Gurung of Manang Air, who was in the helicopter, were injured in the incident.

Following the crash, authorities suspended services at Tenzing Hillary Airport at Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest. The airfield is notorious for its short runway and perilous approach, sitting at an elevation of over 2,800 meters.

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