Yeti Air Plane Crash in Pokhara: Nepal mourns nationwide as all 72 persons onboard confirmed dead

All 72 persons on board the Yeti Airline plane are confirmed dead in Pokhara on Sunday (January 16, 2023). An ATR-72 plane belonging to Yeti Airlines that had left Kathmandu for Pokhara crashed near the Pokhara Airport just before landing with a total of 72 people: 68 passengers and four crew members onboard.

The Yeti Airlines’ plane crash in Pokhara is the biggest one so far in the history of Nepal’s domestic flight. This crash in Pokhara is the largest one in the domestic sector so far, said Jagannath Niraula, Spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). Hundreds of people have lost their lives to the various incidences of air crash that have taken place in Nepal before this.

The officials have confirmed the all passengers dead in Pokhara aircraft crash.

Sixty eight passengers 60 Nepali nationals and eight foreign ones) and four crew members including Captains Kamal KC and Anju Khatiwada were onboard the aircraft when it crashed. Three of the passengers were infants, three minors, and three incapacitated people. The Nepali passengers have been identified as Kisan Acharya, Nishanta Acharya, Shaligram Acharya, Sadakat Alimiya, Purna Bahadur Gurung, Jitendra Bahadur Kunwar, Alina Bandro and Anisha Baniya.

Similarly, others are Slok Bhatta, Nira Chhantyal, Aashima Gurung, Anusha Gurung, Belman Gurung, Bijaya Kumar Gurung, Jiban Kala Gurung, Maya Gurung, Lucky Gurung, Shiva Kumar Gurung, Sita Gurung, Yamuna Gurung, Yasmin Gurung, Rabin Hamal, Sanjaya Jiasawal, Sonu Jaisawal, Rachana Kafle, Sita Kumari Khadka, Anil Kumar Rajbhar, Bhagawati Kunwar, Abishek Kushwaha, Om Maya Gurung, Susma Pandey, Hari Pariyar, Laxmi Pariyar, Rita Pariyar, Arun Paudel, Laxmi Paudel, Prasiddhi Paudel, Tribhuvan Paudel and Pojan Rana.

Others have been identified as Sabina Rayamajhi, Rajan Sapkota, Anil Shahi, Sangita Shahi, Jamuna Sharma, Bishal Sharma, Yubaraj Sharma, Mohan Shrestha, Dr Shona Diwakar, Bandana Sunsar, Rajusingh Thakuri, Churna Thapa, Ganesh Thapa and Lawaraj Timilsina.

The children are Krish Pariyar, Prasiddhi Paudel and Aayurdhi Sharma, and identity of three infants has yet to be established.

The foreign nationals have been identified as Love Mayron, IIurii Lygin, Victor Lygin, Jannetsandra Palavecino, Victoria Altunina, Elena Banduro, Ruan Calum Crighton and Alexandre Isidore.

The bodies of those people who died in the aircraft crash have been retrieved and taken to Gandaki Hospital. Most of the bodies were damaged so much so that they are beyond identification, said an official. So far, all bodies have been recovered except three.

Of the bodies that have been identified, the postmortem of those belonging to the local victims will be conducted in Pokhara and handed over to their families while the postmortem of the bodies to be taken to Kathmandu will be conducted in Kathmandu, officials said.

Mortal remains of some of those killed in the crash are to be brought to Kathmandu. It is said mortal remains of the crew members, foreign citizens and those with their homes in Kathmandu are to be transported to the capital. Their autopsy is to take place here. According to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) General Manager Premnath Thakur, a three-member specialists’ team from the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital is visiting Pokhara to handle the postmortem procedures.

Meanwhile, the government has given a public holiday today to mourn the fatal crash of the ATR-72 plane belonging to Yeti Airlines in Pokhara of Kaski. An emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers held at the Prime Minister’s official residence, Baluwatar following the crash took a decision to this regard, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson Bishnu Poudel.

“The emergency meeting of the Council of Minister today expressed a deep sorrow over the plane crash, condoling the losses of lives. It has extended heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” he said, adding that the meeting decided to mourn the tragic incident on January 16 at the national-level, tomorrow and give a public holiday. However, the general public have criticized the move to give public holiday saying that rescue mechanism and aviation security were needed instead of the public holiday.

Likewise, the government has formed a five-member investigation commission to find out the truth and facts about the crash of the Yeti Airlines aircraft in Pokhara.

An emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers formed the probe commission to identify the causes of the plane accident and submit a report along with suggestions for preventing occurrence of such accidents in the coming days.

Former Secretary Nagendra Ghimire is the convenor of the Commission. The members of the commission include aviation experts Deepak Prakash Bastola (retired Major General of Nepali Army) and Sunil Thapa (retired Captain) and aircraft repair engineer Ekraj Jung Thapa.

Joint-Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane is the member-secretary of the commission. The commission has been given 45 days’ deadline.


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