A Grim Repetition of History for Co-Pilot in Nepal Crash

Anju Khatiwada's husband died in a crash 16 years prior
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2023 10:46 AM CST
Co-Pilot in Nepal Crash Lost Her Pilot Husband the Same Way
Rescuers scour the crash site in the wreckage of a passenger plane in Pokhara, Nepal, Monday, Jan.16, 2023. The Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu that plummeted into a gorge Sunday killed at least 70 passengers out of the 72 on board.   (AP Photo/Yunish Gurung)

The co-pilot who died Sunday in the crash of Yeti Airlines Flight 691 in Nepal became a pilot after her own husband died in an identical manner 16 years prior, reports the BBC. Anju Khatiwada's husband reportedly died when the Yeti Airlines flight he was co-piloting crashed in June 2006; all nine people aboard the Twin Otter prop plane perished in the crash. A relative says Khatiwada, as a widow with a young child, became determined to enter the aviation field and "[fulfill] the dreams of her husband."

"In the face of family opposition, she gave up her nursing career and pursued years of pilot training in the United States, raising her daughter with the help of her parents," the New York Times reports. A Yeti rep tells Reuters that Khatiwada "got her pilot training with the money she got from the insurance after her husband's death." She returned to Nepal and joined the airline in 2010. One of just six female pilots at Yeti, Khatiwada remarried and had a second child. The cause of Sunday's crash, which killed at least 69, has not been determined.

Meanwhile, the AP reports that Sonu Jaiswal, a 25-year-old who was on the Sunday flight, began livestreaming shortly before the plane was due to land. His 90-second Facebook video initially shows the buildings and green fields of the Nepalese city of Pokhara. He then turns the camera to himself and smiles. "Then it happened," as the AP puts it. Before his video cuts out, a screeching sound and passenger screams are heard, with flames and smoke filling the frame.

(More plane crash stories.)

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