The sentence:

Two of the three crew members are killed, one of whom dies later in hospital.

There are initially three people, and two of them are dead. Let's call them A and B. Let's say B dies later. Then the sequence of event goes like this.

Plane crashes -> A dies -> B dies in the hospital.

To describe this sequence of events, I would say:

Two of the three crew members were killed; one of whom have died later in hospital.

because there's a need to differentiate the time of each death, but I'm not too sure if I have achieved it correctly. I would argue that the first sentence is wrong because the later clause indicates the present, which clearly does not make sense.

  • There have been a number of questions on this site concerning use of "the historical present". May I suggest you refer to them for further guidance. – WS2 Feb 11 '18 at 15:48
  • I agree that present perfect (“have died”) is inappropriate in this context — but, if you were to use it, you should say “one of whom has died”. – Scott Feb 11 '18 at 15:57

This appears to be the source for the sentence in question.

It is a "List of notable accidents involving commercial aircraft": by genre, a chronicle. It is expressed, as is conventional for a chronicle, entirely in the present tense, as if the events it narrates were unfolding in 'actual' time, before the reader's eyes.

  • If this was not a chronicle, then how should I write this sentence? – VladeKR Feb 11 '18 at 15:25
  • @VladeKR Possibly: “Two of the three crew members were killed in the accident: one was killed immediately and the other died later in hospital.“ Don’t use the perfect for the simple past died. – tchrist Feb 11 '18 at 15:31
  • 1
    @VladeKR On May 27, 2017, Summit Air Flight 409, a Let L-410 operating a cargo flight, crashed short of Lukla Airport, Nepal in poor visibility. Two of the three crew members died, one in the crash and another later in hospital. – StoneyB on hiatus Feb 11 '18 at 15:31

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