Nepal plane crash: 2 Americans, 2 lawful permanent residents killed in Himalayas
Two Americans and two lawful U.S. permanent residents were on board the Yeti plane that crash in Nepal Sunday, the U.S. State Department confirmed Wednesday.
“Our thoughts are with the families of those on board,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday. “The United States stands ready to support Nepal in any way we can at this difficult hour.”
The Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu that plummeted into a gorge in the foothills of the Himalayas Sunday, killing all 72 on board, was co-piloted by Anju Khatiwada, who had pursued years of pilot training in the United States after her husband died in a 2006 plane crash while flying for the same airline.
NEPAL CRASH: VIDEO FROM INSIDE PLANE SHOWS PASSENGERS’ FINAL MOMENTS
Her colleagues described her as a skilled pilot who was very motivated, The Associated Press reported. On Tuesday, authorities began returning some identified bodies to family members and said they were sending the ATR 72-500 aircraft’s data recorder to France for analysis to determine what caused the crash.
Khatiwada began flying for Yeti Airlines in 2020 — four years after her husband, Dipak Pokhrel, died in a crash. He was flying a DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 plane for the same airline when it crashed in Nepal’s Jumla district and burst into flames, killing all nine people on board. Khatiwada later remarried.
Inside the aircraft, passenger Sonu Jaiswal was shooting smartphone footage of the plane’s descent seconds before it veered to the left and crashed into a gorge. The camera went on to record the screeching sound of an engine along with fire and smoke.
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The deaths of Khatiwada and Jaiswal are part of a deadly pattern in Nepal, a country that has seen a series of air crashes over the years, with Sunday’s being the deadliest in 30 years. Past crashes have been blamed in part on difficult terrain, bad weather and aging fleets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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