Nepal: Co-pilot who died in a crash on the same airline 16 years after her husband

  • Rajni Vaidyanathan*
  • BBC News

Credit, Reproduction

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Anju Khatiwada in the airplane cabin

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The co-pilot of the flight that crashed in Nepal on Sunday (15) had misplaced her husband 16 years in the past in one other accident by the same airline.

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Anju Khatiwada was second in command of Yeti Airlines Flight 691, which crashed into a ditch close to the resort city of Pokhara.

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All 72 folks on board had been killed and the crash grew to become the Asian nation’s worst air catastrophe in 30 years.

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Khatiwada’s husband Deepak Pokharel additionally died in the cabin of the crashed Yeti Airlines aircraft. It was the lack of her then husband that prompted Khatiwada to enter aviation.

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Santosh Sharma, a member of the family, mentioned, “She was a decided girl who stood up for her desires and fulfilled her husband’s desires.”

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Pokharel was in the cockpit of a Twin Otter plane carrying rice and meals to the western metropolis of Jumla when the aircraft crashed and caught fireplace in June 2006. All 9 folks on board had been killed in the accident.

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Four years later, his widow determined to take up the same job. After overcoming many obstacles, she was capable of journey to the United States to coach and as soon as certified joined Yeti Airlines.

tragedy inside one other tragedy

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Khatiwada was considered one of the six girls who served as pilots for the airline. He had 6,400 hours of flying expertise.

Credit, Getty Images

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Efforts to rescue the 72 folks killed in the Yeti aircraft crash continued on Tuesday.

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Sudarshan Bartaula of Yeti Airlines mentioned, “She was an airline captain and used to fly alone.” “She was a courageous girl,” he concluded.

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Khatiwada remarried and had a second youngster whereas pursuing a profession as an aviator.

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Friends and household mentioned she was a very completely satisfied individual and cherished her job.

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That she and her first husband died this manner, relations say, is a tragedy inside a tragedy.

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Parts of the aircraft that crashed on Sunday are nonetheless scattered on the banks of the Seti River at the crash website in Pokhara.

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A small piece of the aircraft rests over the valley, with the home windows intact and the inexperienced and yellow Yeti Airlines livery nonetheless seen.

safety debate

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The tragedy has reignited the debate over air security in the Himalayan nation, the place air crashes have killed lots of in current a long time.

Credit, Getty Images

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Nepali authorities haven’t but advised what may very well be the purpose for the aircraft crash.

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Over the years, varied causes have been identified as safety lapses by Nepali Airlines.

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The mountainous terrain and infrequently unpredictable and difficult-to-navigate climate are sometimes cited as explanations for accidents like final Sunday’s.

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However, consultants level to different equally essential causes, corresponding to the age of the plane fleet, permissive laws and poor supervision.

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The reason for Sunday’s accident just isn’t but identified.

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Outside the Pokhara hospital, households of victims watch for our bodies of their kinfolk to be handed over after the autopsy is accomplished.

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One of them, Bhimsen Ban, mentioned that he wished to take the physique of his good friend Neera again to his village in order that it may very well be buried.

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Singer Neera Chantyal is amongst the 72 victims of Nepal’s worst air tragedy to be recorded in the final 30 years.

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Neera Chantyal, 21, was a singer and used to fly with Yeti Airlines.

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For the center class, low price air journey has develop into a low-cost and fashionable means of touring in the hill nation.

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Neera, who had shifted to Kathmandu, was touring on that flight to carry out at a music competition in Pokhara.

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Bhimsen mentioned, “She was a very proficient artist and used to sing folks songs. Sometimes she sang spontaneously.”

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“I’ve no phrases to explain the loss,” he concluded.

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Additional reporting by Rajneesh Bhandari and Andrew Clarence.

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