Saturday July 02, 2022

May 27, 2017

Cargo plane crashes near Mount Everest, 3 injured

KATHMANDU: A cargo plane crashed Saturday as it was trying to land at a small airport near Mount Everest, seriously injuring the two pilots and hostess on board, officials said.

All three crew members were pulled alive from the wreckage of the plane, which broke into three pieces when it crashed as it was attempting to land at Lukla airport in heavy fog.

"A cargo plane has crashed in Lukla and we are trying to get more details. It crashed on approach to the airport," Sagar Acharya of Summit Air, which operates the aircraft.

"The three crew members have been taken to hospital. We are not yet sure what caused the accident," he added.

Local media reported that the three crew members were in a serious condition.

Lukla airport -- commonly nicknamed the most dangerous airport in the world -- in the main gateway to the Everest region and sees thousands of trekkers and climbers pass through it each year.

Nepal has a poor air safety record, which is largely blamed on inadequate maintenance, inexperienced pilots and poor management.

Two deadly plane crashes last year claimed at least 25 lives, the first when a passenger plane slammed into a mountainside and the second when a small aircraft crash-landed killing the two pilots.

Despite the risks, air travel is popular in Nepal, which has a limited road network. Many communities, particularly in the mountains and hills, are accessible only by foot or by air.

All Nepal airlines are banned from flying to the European Union because their poor safety standards.