Nepal co-pilot’s husband also died in Yeti Airlines crash 16 years ago

The co-pilot of Nepal’s fatal plane crash had lost her husband who was a pilot in another Yeti Airlines accident 16 years ago.

Anju Khatiwada, 44, was the co-pilot on Sunday’s fatal flight from Kathmandu which crashed into a gorge in clear weather near Pokhara airport killing at least 70 people.

Ms Khatiwada’s career in aviation was prompted by the death of her husband Dipak Pokhrel, who died on a Yeti Airlines flight in 2006 which came down minutes before landing.

No survivors have been found so far among the 72 people who were on board Sunday’s flight, which was Nepal’s deadliest plane accident in three decades.

Ms Khatiwada got her pilot training with the insurance money she got following Mr Pokhrel’s death in a Yeti Airlines crash in the western town of Jumla, airline spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula said.

Her remains have not been identified but she is feared dead, he added.

Mr Bartuala said Ms Khatiwada had more than 6,400 hours of flying time and had previously flown the popular 27-minute tourist route from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

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It is still not clear what caused the crash of the ATR-72 aircraft, which was reported to have rolled from side to side before crashing in a gorge near Pokhara airport and catching fire.

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Plane flips moments before Nepal crash

Rescuers have been combing through debris scattered down a 300-metre-deep gorge in search of passengers who are unaccounted for.

On Monday, searchers found the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the flight, both in good condition, a discovery that is likely to help investigators determine what caused the crash.

An official said small children were among the passengers on the flight.

Ajay KC, a police official in Pokhara who is part of the rescue efforts, said: “There were small children among the passengers. Some might have been burnt and died, and may not be found out. We will continue to look for them.”

Victims of the crash include British man Ruan Calum Crighton and other victims from Nepal, India, Russia, South Korea, Argentina, Australia and France.

The flight was carrying 68 passengers, including 15 foreign nationals, as well as four crew members, Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said.

The body of the plane’s captain, Kamal KC, has been recovered and identified.

Television channels showed weeping relatives waiting for the bodies of their loved ones outside a hospital where post-mortems are being conducted in Pokhara.

The plane crash comes less than a year after a Tara Air crash that killed 22 people.

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