The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
On January, 2023, a tragic air disaster occurred in Nepal, resulting in the loss of 72 lives.
The Yeti Airlines plane, carrying 71 passengers and crew, came down in a gorge near the airport of Pokhara, a popular tourist town.
Of the passengers, 53 were Nepalese, 5 were Indian, 4 were Russian, 2 were South Korean, and there was also one passenger each from the United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina, and France.
The cause of the crash is still unknown, but search teams have recovered the plane’s voice and flight data recorders, which are said to be in good condition.
Officials are currently investigating the crash and analyzing the data from the recorders to determine the cause.
Among the victims of the crash were several individuals from different countries, each with their own unique stories. Australian Myron Love, a 29-year-old teacher from Sydney, was confirmed to be among the victims. Myron was described by friends as a “truly kind, fun, energetic man” and was an avid cyclist and surfer. His family shared a statement, expressing that “He has put so much into his short life that most of us couldn’t fit into our lifetime.”
A South Korean father and son were also among the victims. The father, a 45-year-old sergeant in the South Korean army, was on holiday with his 14-year-old son during the son’s winter break from school. They had planned a hiking trip in the Himalayas and were messaging their families on the day of the incident. However, after the flight’s scheduled arrival time passed, the families did not hear anything from them.
Four men from Ghazipur, India, were also on board the flight. The men, all thought to be in their 20s or early 30s, had gone to Nepal on January 13th to visit the Pashupatinath temple, a grand shrine on the outskirts of Kathmandu that is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The trip was reportedly the idea of one of the men, Sonu Jaiswal, a father of three who wanted to pray at the temple for another son. They had planned to go paragliding in Pokhara and Jaiswal was even livestreaming as the plane came in to land.
Anju Khatiwada, a trailblazer who was one of only six women employed by Yeti Airlines as pilots, was also among the victims of the Nepal air crash. She had flown close to 6,400 hours and was a “brave woman” according to Sudarshan Bartaula from Yeti Airlines. It was later revealed that her husband had also been co-piloting a Yeti Airlines flight when it crashed in 2006.
Another victim, Nira Chhantyal, was a singer who often flew with Yeti Airlines. She was on the flight on her way to perform at a music festival in Pokhara. Nira was a very talented artist and sang folk songs, her friend Bhimsen told the BBC, “I have no words to describe the loss.”
The Nepal air crash was the country’s worst air disaster in three decades, and the loss of 72 lives is a tragic reminder of the fragility of life and the deep impact that the loss of a loved one can have on families and communities.
The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing, and families and loved ones of the victims are in the thoughts and prayers of many.