Nepal plane crash – live: Toll rises to 70 as searchers fly drones to find last two passengers

Nepal’s aviation authority has released the names and nationalities of the passengers on the Yeti Air crash yesterday, 70 of whom have been confirmed dead.

The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft was carrying 72 people – four crew members and 68 passengers – when it crashed near the airport of the tourist city of Pokhara on Sunday.

Fifteen foreign nationals were among those on board – from India, Russia, South Korea, France, Australia and Argentina – including a British man named as Calum Ruan Crighton, who was initially thought to be Irish.

Meanwhile, searchers used drones and rappelled down a 200 metres deep gorge as dfficult terrain and inclement weather hampered rescue efforts.

“There is thick fog here now. We are sending search and rescue personnel using ropes into the gorge where parts of the plane fell and was in flames,” Ajay KC, a police official in Pokhara told Reuters.

A video being widely shared online was allegedly filmed and broadcast on Facebook Live by one of the passengers in the final moments of the flight.

Pokhara airport officials revealed the pilot asked the airport to switch runway minutes before his aircraft plunged into a deep gorge.

Nepal plane crash

  • Death toll rises to 70 as two more people remain unaccounted

  • Nepal official says no hopes of finding survivors

  • Both black boxes found, say airport officials

  • Search operation to find four missing resumes

First responder recalls how he tried to save passengers

10:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A local man, who was one of the first responders after the Yeti Airlines flight crashed in Pokhara, recalled the moment he tried to save passengers from the burning plane.

Bikash Basyal was outside his home at around 10.30am when he saw the aircraft fly above him and suddenly crash.He ran towards the scene and reportedly attemped to save passengers from the burning wreckage.

“I realised the plane had crashed. I opened the gate and ran towards the site. The plane was on fire,” the visibly emotional man was quoted by CNN News 18 as saying.

“I rescued two people, who were alive. But they died in Gandaki Hospital,” he added.

People hold candles during a vigil in memory of victims

09:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Candlelight vigil for victims of plane crash in Nepal (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Candlelight vigil for victims of plane crash in Nepal (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
People place candles during a vigil in memory of victims of plane crash (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
People place candles during a vigil in memory of victims of plane crash (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Nepal plane crash marks country’s 13th fatal incident since 2010

08:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Almost everywhere in the world, passenger aviation has become extraordinarily safe. In 2022, the total aviation death toll of 174 corresponded to the average number of fatalities on the roads in an hour and a quarter worldwide.

Two weeks ago, Adrian Young of the Dutch air safety consultancy To70 reported: “The fatal accident rate is better than average over the last 10 years.”But there is one country where plane crashes remain tragically frequent: Nepal.

On the Yeti Airlines website, flight YT691 on Sunday morning from Kathmandu to Pokhara is listed normally as “departed”.

In reality, dozens of passengers are dead after the plane crashed on approach to Pokhara international airport.

Simon Calder reports.

Nepal plane crash marks country’s 13th fatal incident since 2010

Eyewitness accounts reveal final moments before crash

07:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

An eyewitness who saw the Yeti Airlines plane crash from his balcony on Sunday morning has recounted how he saw the aircraft flying so dangerously low and and close to his home that he feared he was going to die.

Diwas Bohora, a resident of Kaski district, western Nepal, said he witnessed the moment when the plane, on approach to land in Nepal’s Himalayan Pokhara city, suddenly veered to its left and came down, shaking the ground violently.

“I saw that and I was shocked — I thought that today everything will be finished here after it crashes, I will also be dead,” he said.

Shweta Sharma reports.

Eyewitness accounts and passenger video reveal final moments of Nepal flight

British man named among passengers after Nepal plane crash

07:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A British man has been identified as a passenger on the plane involved in a deadly crash in Nepal on Sunday.

Nepalese authorities had previously described the passenger as Irish, but the man has since been named as UK national Ruan Calum Crighton.

His name was among those of passengers published by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, where his nationality was listed as Irish.It is understood he was travelling on a UK passport.

Emily Atkinson has more.

British man named among passengers after deadly Nepal plane crash

Searchers fly drones to find last passengers

06:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Searchers today used drones and rappelled down a 200 metres deep gorge in west Nepal to search for two passengers still unaccounted for after the country’s deadliest plane crash in 30 years.

Difficult terrain and inclement weather was hampering rescue efforts near the tourist city of Pokhara, where the Yeti Airlines ATR 72 turboprop carrying 72 people crashed just before landing.

“There is thick fog here now. We are sending search and rescue personnel using ropes into the gorge where parts of the plane fell and was in flames,” Ajay KC, a police official in Pokhara told Reuters.

Why the European Union bans Nepali airlines

05:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

For years, the European Union has banned all Nepali airlines from flying into its member states because of the country's poor safety record.

The decision was made in 2013 following a Sita Air crash in that killed 19 people, including seven Britons, and has not yet been lifted.

"The current safety situation in Nepal does not leave us any other choice than to put all of its carriers on the EU air safety list. We do hope that this ban will help the aviation authorities to improve aviation safety," said European Commission official Siim Kallas at the time.

In practice this had little consequence because very few Nepali airlines fly internationally, but it was a potent symbol of the country's problems that is now likely to persist.

Specifically, the EU wants Nepal to split its Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN) in two, separating it into an air safety regulator and an airport operator.

In 2020, there were some indications that the ban might soon be lifted if Nepal's parliament could push the split through. For now, it looks likely to stay in place.

Black box of the crashed flight found

04:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder was found yesterday from the passenger flight that crashed, killing at least 70 people in Nepal.

The data on the recorders may help investigators determine what caused the Yeti Airlines ATR 72 aircraft, carrying 72 people, to go down in clear weather on Sunday just before landing in the tourist city of Pokhara.

Both recorders were in good shape and will be sent for analysis on the recommendation of the manufacturer, Teknath Sitaula, a Kathmandu airport official, told Reuters.

Under international aviation rules, the crash investigation agency of the country where the plane was designed and built is automatically part of the inquiry.

Death toll rises to 70

03:53 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The death toll from the Yeti Airline aircraft crash rose to 70 after two more bodies were recovered, the local police said.

Two more people still remain unaccounted for.

The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft was carrying 72 people – four crew members and 68 passengers – when it crashed near the airport of the tourist city of Pokhara on Sunday.

Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority yesterday inspected all ATR 72 and ATR 42 aircraft operating in the country since the crash and found no technical faults in them, it said in a statement.

Myron Love's family say he 'lived life to the fullest'

03:53 , Io Dodds

The family of Australian crash victim Myron Love has said he always "lived life to his fullest".

In a statement given out through Australia's foreign ministry, the family said: "We would like to express our deep gratitude for the amazing support shown to us by our family and friends in this time of need.

“Myron has been a rock to both of our families for many years and he has always lived his life to the fullest. He has put so much into his short life that most of us couldn’t fit into our lifetime.

"We do request at this time that you offer us peace and privacy for us to grieve, and deal with this tragedy."

Turboprop plane had ‘good track record’ but could be ‘unforgiving’

02:48 , Io Dodds

What do we know about the aircraft that crashed on Sunday?

The plane was a been a twin-engined propeller craft called an ATR 72, manufactured by Franco-Italian aerospace firm ATR.

Designed for short hops within the same country or region, it typically carries about 72 passengers (hence the name) and is widely used across the world. The model has been in service since 1988, while the specific plane that crashed was about 15 years old.

Although the model has a history of crashes, that may be due to the type of airlines and routes it usually flies on. Pilots and aviation experts largely describe it as reliable, with one expert telling the Associated Press that it has a "very good track record".

Another expert told CNN in 2015: “[It's] actually a very good aircraft – it’s been around for a while. It doesn’t have reputation as a difficult plane to fly... I can’t speak to them being dangerous.”

However, a pilot who regularly flies ATR 72s between India and Nepal said it can be an "unforgiving aircraft" for pilots with low skill or a lack of familiarity with the region's conditions.

Acccording to the flight tracking service FlightRadar, the plane that crashed on Sunday was "equipped with an old transponder with unreliable data".

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Australian teacher and avid surfer among the dead

01:52 , Io Dodds

We now have more detail about Myron William Love, the Australian teacher who died in the plane crash.

Mr Love, 29, was described by Aussie media as an avid surfer, cyclist, and traveller who worked as a temp teacher in Sydney.

“It is with extreme sadness to say we have lost one of the best humans I have ever known,” said Sydney artist James Lesjak-Atton on Instagram, according to The Guardian (the post is no longer accessible).

“Myron was one of the loves of my life. A truly kind, fun, energetic man. We will forever love you my man.”

'Her father asked her not to become a pilot'

Monday 16 January 2023 23:59 , Io Dodds

The family of co-pilot Anju Khatiwada has described her determination to fly even in the face of opposition from her father.

Ms Khatiwada, 44, had vowed to continue her husband's dream of being a pilot after he died in a plane crash in Nepal in 2006, using his life insurance payout to get training and eventually reaching the rank of captain.

Gopal Regmi, a relative and close friend of her father's, told The New York Times: "Anju’s father had asked her not to choose the pilot profession. After her husband’s tragic death, she was determined to become a pilot."

Mr Regmi also recalled that, while applying for a visa to train in the US, Ms Khatiwada had told officials: "I just want to wear the white uniform like my husband and work as a pilot."

According to airline officials, Ms Khatiwada had 6,396 hours of flying time when she died – a respectable amount for a commercial pilot. The flight's captain, 58-year-old Kamal KC, had 21,900 hours.

'Going to Nepal was her dream as a mountaineer'

Monday 16 January 2023 23:26 , Io Dodds

An Argentine hotel manager with a passion for climbing and the outdoors has been named as one of the crash victims.

Jannet Palavecino, 57, from Neuquén province in western Argentina, was on holiday enjoying Nepal's towering mountains when she died, according to the Argentine newspaper Clarín.

The Palevecino family is reportedly known locally for running the Hotel Suizo, having arrived in Argentina from mountainous Switzerland at the beginning of the 20th century.

"Jannet Palavecino, may you rest in peace. We will miss you and always keep you in our memory. My greetings and condolences to all the family and affections," said Neuquén governor Omar Gutierrez on Sunday.

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"Going to Nepal was her dream as a mountaineer," one of Ms Palavecino's friends posted on social media.

Another said: "Maximum respect and admiration for a powerful woman who lived and died fulfilling her dreams."

Another possible theory: bird strike

Monday 16 January 2023 22:52 , Io Dodds

Another possibility for the cause of this crash is a collision with birds – generally known as a "bird strike".

According to the Associated Press, in the days before Pokhara's brand new international airport opened on 1 January, there had been concerns about the high number of birds in the area, drawn by the city's two rivers and a landfill dump near the airport.

Air safety expert Amit Singh suggested that a bird strike could have led the plane's crew to break off their landing and circle around for another try, exacerbating the risk of a stall.

"A high thrust setting can lead to a stall," Mr Singh said. "Go-arounds are most often mishandled by crew... so again the issue is, how did the pilot cope with the failure?"

More evidence for the theory that plane stalled

Monday 16 January 2023 22:20 , Io Dodds

Here's more detail from Indian air safety expert Amit Singh about the possible cause of this crash.

"If you see the trajectory of the aircraft, the aircraft's nose goes up, and the nose up would be associated with a reduction in speed," Mr Sing told the Associated Press.

"When they have stalls, typically one wing goes down and wings are basically generating the lift. So as the air flow reduces, the lift generated is not enough to sustain the aircraft in flight and the wing drops and the aircraft nosedives."

Aviation consultant Ron Bartsch also told Sydney's Channel 9 News that the plane appeared to have stalled, adding: "Possibly pilot error."

Yeti Air has said that the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Indian town mourns three victims who had been travelling to funeral

Monday 16 January 2023 21:47 , Io Dodds

Three Nepali men who were travelling to attend the funeral of a Christian evangelist were also killed in the crash, according to The Times of India.

Raju Thakuri, Rabin Hamal and Anil Shahi were reportedly returning to Pokhara after paying their respects to Mathew Philip in the Indian state of Kerala.

Mr Philip had been a Christian minister for 45 years in Nepal until two years ago, when he returned to his hometown of Anickad after being diagnosed with cancer.

His son Joel Mathew told the Times that Mr Mathew had been a father figure to the three men and their two surviving companions, who had parted from them in Kathmandu, Nepal.

"They spent the whole day at the church and at home and left in the evening after the funeral," said Mr Mathew.

"At the Anickad Brethren Assembly, where the mortal remains of my grandfather were kept for public homage, they sang a Nepalese song which my grandpa liked most. They also spoke about him and how he had influenced their lives."

Thomas KA, a minister in Anickad, said: "We are all familiar with these Nepali youngsters as they often visit this village and attend our Assembly."

Their deaths cast a further pall over Anickad's Christian community, which had been already mourning Mr Philip's loss.

Nepali folk singer and TikTok star among crash victims

Monday 16 January 2023 21:14 , Io Dodds

A well-known Nepali folk singer with a sizeable following on TikTok was among the passengers killed in Sunday's plane crash.

Nira Chhantyal, who often posted videos of her performances to her roughly 125,000 TikTok followers, had been travelling to Pokhara to perform at an event, Insider reported.

Less than an hour before the disaster, she had posted on her Facebook page in honour of the Maghe Sankranti festival, which marks the winter solstice.

“On the auspicious occasion of Maghe Sankranti, I express my best wishes to all the parents, brothers and sisters living in the country and abroad,” wrote Ms Chhantyal.

Since then, comments under her posts have been flooded with fans and well-wishers expressing their sorrow at her death.

"You left, your memories are still remembered. We won't meet now," said one, with a string of weeping emoji. Another said: "You went to Pokhara but left in a way that you will never return. Heartfelt condolences."

@nirachhantyal

छन्त्याल भवन काठमाडौं मा आज हाम्रो प्रस्तुति 🥰@sanjaygurung199 #nirachhantyal #treandingsong

♬ original sound - AbiralGautam

'Why did this senior captain allow the wing to stall?'

Monday 16 January 2023 20:41 , Io Dodds

Two more aviation experts have agreed that the Yeti Air plane appears to have stalled in mid-air.

Neil Hansford, chairman of the California-based consultancy Strategic Aviation Solutions, told Australia's ABC News: "I think this one is going to get down to what's called a stall.

"[The pilot had] been coming in too slow. As soon as you bank to the left, then obviously you lose all the wind lift and it goes down like a stone.

"Once you get into a stall at low altitude and low speed, there's generally only one consequence."

He argued that the aircraft would have had automated stall warnings, meaning the crash was probably due to human error.

"When you're at low speed, you don't start making heavily banked turns... think [the pilot's] level of competence had been reached."

James Nixon, a retired airliner captain, said investigators must "find out why this most senior captain allowed the speed to decay on the approach and for the wing to stall".

He added: "When you stall an aircraft, it's no longer [an] aircraft. It's like a grand piano dropped out of a tall building."

Plane appeared to stall before crashing, says air safety expert

Monday 16 January 2023 20:09 , Io Dodds

A veteran pilot and air safety expert who viewed video footage of the Yeti Air plane falling out of the sky has offered one possible explanation for the crash.

Amit Singh, founder of an Indian non-profit called the Safety Matters Foundation, told the Associated Press that the plane appeared to have stalled in mid-air.

A stall occurs when a plane tilts backwards to the point where its wings can no longer generate enough lifting force to keep the craft aloft, causing it to fall.

This is especially likely at low speeds, where the plane must be tilted back in order to maintain lift, bringing it closer to the stalling point.

The footage viewed by Mr Singh was filmed by Diwas Bohora, a bystander in Pokhara, Nepal who saw the plane suddenly tilt to one side before it crashed.

That could be due to a spin, which can easily result from a stall, especially if the plane is trying to turn or if the pilot fails to control the situation.

Nepal should break up Civil Aviation Authority amid ‘conflict of interests’, says expert

Monday 16 January 2023 19:34 , Andy Gregory

Sunday’s crash has underlined the need for Nepal’s government to break up the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), experts have warned.

The authority currently both regulates airlines and manages airports, but this “leads to a conflict o interests”, a retired pilot told Reuters.

“The government must immediately separate the regulatory body and service provider by splitting the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) which is doing both works now,” said KB Limbu, an aviation expert and a retired pilot. “This leads to a conflict of interests.”

Scores gather to light candles in Kathmandu on national day of mourning

Monday 16 January 2023 18:49 , Andy Gregory

Nepal has observed a day of national mourning, and set up a panel to investigate the disaster and suggest measures to avoid such incidents in future.

In the capital, Kathmandu, around 100 people lit candles at a gathering in memory of the crash victims and called on the government to ensure proper safety standards, witnesses said.

People observe a candlelight vigil in memory of victims of a plane crash in Kathmandu (AP Photo/Bikram Rai)
People observe a candlelight vigil in memory of victims of a plane crash in Kathmandu (AP Photo/Bikram Rai)

Two of four missing bodies discovered, official says

Monday 16 January 2023 18:13 , Andy Gregory

Two more bodies have been recovered today, taking the death toll to 70, an official at the rescue coordination centre at Kathmandu airport told Reuters.

The search was called off for the remaining two missing people as darkness descended and will resume on Tuesday, said the official.

Pokhara police said all bodies had been sent to a hospital.

Nepal releases names of plane crash passengers

Monday 16 January 2023 16:25 , Liam James

Nepal’s aviation authority has released a list of the passengers on board Yeti Air flight NYT 691 when it crashed yesterday.

The ATR-72 jet was carrying 68 passengers and four crew from capital Kathmandu to Pokhara. Fifteen of the passengers were foreign nationals and the rest were Nepalese.

The authority said at least six children were among the passengers. British authorities said they were supporting the family of UK national Ruan Calum Crighton, who died on the flight.

It was not clear whether the families of other victims had been informed of their deaths.

Only 68 bodies have been recovered from the flight but authorities said there was “nil” chance the remaining four were alive.

Watch: Yeti Airlines passenger films final moments before crash

Monday 16 January 2023 15:40 , Liam James

A passenger on board the Yeti Airlines plane that crashed in Nepal, killing at least 68 people, live-streamed his final moments on Facebook.

Sonu Jaiswal shared this footage showing himself and his group appearing to be in a happy mood as they anticipated landing in Pokhara.

According to the Times of India, Mr Jaiswal, 29, and his friends were travelling for a paragliding trip.

Breaking: British man named among passengers after deadly Nepal plane crash

Monday 16 January 2023 14:52 , Liam James

A British man has been identified as a passenger on the plane involved in a deadly crash in Nepal on Sunday.

Nepalese authorities had previously described the passenger as Irish, but the man has since been named as UK national Ruan Calum Crighton.

His name was among those of passengers published by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, where his nationality was listed as Irish.

It is understood he was travelling on a UK passport.

A spokesman for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs can confirm that an individual indicated in reports as being Irish is a UK national.

British man named among passengers after deadly Nepal plane crash

Calls for change as Nepal’s air death toll at 359 in 21st century

Monday 16 January 2023 14:30 , Liam James

Authorities in Kathmandu said they will work to ensure an aeroplane crash like yesterday’s cannot happen again as protesters called for change on a national day of mourning for the latest victims in a country scarred by several large air disasters.

There are nine domestic airlines in Nepal, including Yeti Airlines and its unit Tara Air. Yeti and Tara plane crashes have killed at least 165 people in Nepal since 2000 out of a total of 359 dead from aviation accidents, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

Sunday’s crash underlined the need for the government to break up CAAN, which both regulates airlines and manages airports, experts said.

“The government must immediately separate the regulatory body and service provider by splitting the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) which is doing both works now,” K.B. Limbu, an aviation expert and a retired pilot, told Reuters.

“This leads to a conflict of interests.”

Photo shows Yeti Airline flying low over town before crash

Monday 16 January 2023 13:45 , Liam James

A screengrab from footage shows the Yeti Airlines plane before the crash in Pokhara, Nepal yesterday.

The plane was travelling from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu to the central tourist town when it crashed near where it was due to land.

An eyewitness said he saw the aircraft spinning violently in the air after it began to attempt a landing before falling nose-first towards its left and then crashing into a gorge.

 (Reuters)
(Reuters)

Co-pilot of crashed Yeti Airlines flight lost husband to earlier aviation disaster in Nepal

Monday 16 January 2023 13:00 , Shweta Sharma

The co-pilot of the Nepal flight that crashed with 72 people on board had lost her husband in a similar crash in 2006.

Anju Khatiwada was the co-pilot of the Yeti Airlines flight from capital Kathmandu to the tourist city of Pokhara.

The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft crash killed 68 including passengers and crew members, with authorities announcing on Monday that hopes of finding any remaining survivors were fading.

Co-pilot of Yeti Airlines flight had lost husband to an earlier Nepal plane crash

Russian travel blogger shared last selfie from flight that crashed

Monday 16 January 2023 12:38 , Shweta Sharma

Elena Banduro, 33, a social media manager from Moscow and travel blogger, shared a selfie from the Yeti Airlines flight on Sunday moments before it crashed.

She captioned her last selfie: “Go to Nepal.”

Her Facebook and Instagram pages have since been flooded with messages offering condolences for her death. People called her the “brightest” and “kindest soul” in social media posts.

“Fly high sis, and go to the places you dreamt of going,” a friend posted on her wall.The Russian Ambassador to Nepal, Alexei Novikov, has confirmed the death of four Russian citizens who were on board the plane.

The other three have been identified as Viktoria Altunina, Yuri Lugin and Viktor Lagin.

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Nepal plane crash marks country’s 13th fatal incident since 2010

Monday 16 January 2023 12:30 , Shweta Sharma

Almost everywhere in the world, passenger aviation has become extraordinarily safe. In 2022, the total aviation death toll of 174 corresponded to the average number of fatalities on the roads in an hour and a quarter worldwide.

Two weeks ago, Adrian Young of the Dutch air safety consultancy To70 reported: “The fatal accident rate is better than average over the last 10 years.”

But there is one country where plane crashes remain tragically frequent: Nepal.

Nepal plane crash marks country’s 13th fatal incident since 2010

‘Like an earthquake’: Eyewitness accounts and passenger video reveal final moments of Nepal flight

Monday 16 January 2023 12:20 , Shweta Sharma

An eyewitness who saw the Yeti Airlines plane crash from his balcony on Sunday morning has recounted how he saw the aircraft flying so dangerously low and and close to his home that he feared he was going to die.

Diwas Bohora, a resident of Kaski district, western Nepal, said he witnessed the moment when the plane, on approach to land in Nepal’s Himalayan Pokhara city, suddenly veered to its left and came down, shaking the ground violently.

“I saw that and I was shocked — I thought that today everything will be finished here after it crashes, I will also be dead,” he said.

Eyewitness accounts and passenger video reveal final moments of Nepal flight

Cloudy weather hampering rescue efforts

Monday 16 January 2023 12:01 , Shweta Sharma

Rescuers are battling cloudy weather and poor visibility as they scoured a river gorge where a passenger plane carrying 73 passengers crashed.

Search operation was resumed today to search for missing people, more than 24 hours after the crash.

A video footage from the crash site showed rescuers looking at the charred remains of the plane near the gorge.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

ICYM: Video shows final moments of Nepal flight before plane crashed killing 68 people

Monday 16 January 2023 11:53 , Shweta Sharma

Video shared online shows the dramatic moments before a plane crash in Nepal killed at least 68 people.

The flight from Kathmandu to the resort town of Pokhara had 72 people aboard and crashed while landing at a newly opened airport on Sunday.

The crash is the country’s deadliest airplane accident in more than three decades.

A total of 15 foreign nationals were on board the Yeti Airlines flight, according to Nepal’s aviation authority, including one Irish person.

Pilot did not flag ‘anything untoward’, says airport spokesperson

Monday 16 January 2023 11:07 , Shweta Sharma

A spokesperson for Pokhara airport says the Yeti Airlines pilot did not flag “anything untoward” to air traffic control and that the flight was cleared for landing.

Anup Joshi said the pilot asked for a change in runway and the permission was granted.

“We don’t ask (why), whenever a pilot asks we give permission to change approach,” he said, adding the landing was changed from runway 3 to runway 1.

“We could operate from both runways. The plane was cleared for landing.”

Mr Joshi said “mountains were clear and visibility was good”. He said there was a light wind and “no issue with weather”.

Russian envoy confirms death of four nationals

Monday 16 January 2023 10:50 , Shweta Sharma

The Russian Ambassador to Nepal, Alexei Novikov, confirmed the death of four Russian citizens who were on board the plane.

The plane was carrying 15 foreign nationals, including five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France.