A Folk Singer, a Ballet Dancer, a Journalist: Victims of Nepal Plane Crash

This has been termed Nepal's deadliest air crash since 1992. Who were the passengers of this ill-fated flight?

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A Folk Singer, a Ballet Dancer, a Journalist: Victims of Nepal Plane Crash
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A Nepali folk singer, a senior journalist, a Russian travel blogger, a Nepali musician, a British ballet dancer - as families of those killed in the Yeti Airlines flight on Sunday, 15 January, await the return of bodies of their loved ones, more details of people who died in the tragic incident are surfacing.

Minutes before landing on Sunday, the Yeti Airlines ATR-72 aircraft with 68 passengers and four crew members on board, crashed into a river gorge, close to the Pokhara International Airport in Nepal. So far, 70 people have been confirmed dead by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

This has been termed Nepal's deadliest air crash since 1992. Who were the passengers of this ill-fated flight?


Nira Chantyal

21-year-old Nira Chantyal, a folk singer who had moved to Kathmandu, was on her way to perform at a music festival in Pokhara.

Her friend Bhimsen Ban told BBC outside a hospital in Pokhara that he was hoping to take his friend Nira back to her village so her last rites could be performed.

"She was a very talented artist, and used to sing folk songs. She would often sing spontaneously," Ban was quoted as saying. He added, "I have no words to describe the loss."

21-year-old Nira Chantyal.

(Photo: Twitter)

Oshin Ale Magar

24-year-old Oshin Ale Magar, a flight attendant with Yeti Airlines for two years, had left on Sunday after promising her family that she will return to celebrate the Maghe Sankranti festival at home.

Her father Mohan Ale Magar, a retired Indian Army personnel, said that he had told her not to go for work on the day of a festival, Nepali newspaper Republica reported. She, however, insisted on completing two flights that day, Mohan added.

24-year-old Oshin Ale Magar.

(Photo: Twitter)

Originally from Madi in Chitwan, Oshin had moved to Kathmandu after starting her job and had also moved her family to stay in Kathmandu in the last six months.

Eldest daughter among the four siblings, Oshin had studied in Oxford College in Gaindakot and had graduated as a flight attendant from Sahara Air Hostess Academy.

Currently, her parents are in Pokhara to identify their daughter’s body.

Tribhuvan Poudyal

37-year-old Nepali journalist Tribhuvan Poudyal, was a central executive member of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), an umbrella organisation of journalists in Nepal.

The FNJ, in a statement, expressed condolence over his sad demise, after the identification of his body.

The statement read, "His death has caused irreparable damage to the Nepalese journalist fraternity."

37-year-old Nepali journalist Tribhuvan Poudyal.

(Photo: Twitter/@FNJNepal)

A resident of Pokhara, Poudyal was associated with several media organisations including a local daily, FM radio, and television channels.

He is survived by his mother, wife, and a son.


Myron Love

29-year-old Myron Love was a teacher at Clovelly Public School in Sydney in Australia.

Love’s family and of his partner Annabelle Bailey, released a joint statement through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, stating:

"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."

29-year-old Myron Love.

(Photo: Facebook/@oldandreans)

Love was also a member of Sydney's Easts Cycling Club. The cycling group has since cancelled a race in his honour, ABC News reported.

Apart from Love, the foreigners travelling on the flight included five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one passenger each from Argentina, the United Kingdom and France.

Ruan Crighton

34-year-old Ruan Crighton, a physiotherapy student and a talented ballet dancer from Essex, died just a day after celebrating his 34th birthday.

34-year-old Ruan Crighton.

(Photo: Facebook/ruan.crighton)

Crighton had trained at London’s Central School of Ballet before an 11-year career as a dancer, first for the Slovakian National Ballet and then the Finnish National Ballet, The Guardian reported.

Though the passenger register described him as Irish, Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs later confirmed that he was travelling on a UK passport.


Elena Banduro

33-year-old Elena Banduro, was a Russian travel blogger who was travelling along with fellow Russian nationals Viktoria Altunina, Yuri Lugin and Viktor Lagin.

A social media manager from Moscow, Banduro posted about her travels across Asia and Europe on her Instagram account.

33-year-old Elena Banduro.

(Photo: Instagram/@snilosmne_2.0)

She had also posted a selfie from her seat on the plane before take-off, ABC News reported.

Russian media outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda reported Banduro had recently told friends and family she was three months pregnant.


Jannet Palavecino

57-year-old Jannet Palavecino was the manager of Hotel Suizo in Argentina's Neuquen.

57-year-old Jannet Palavecino.

(Photo: Facebook/@jannet.palavecino)

A regular mountain climber, Palavecino was in Nepal with a group of friends and had already visited climbing hotspots including Mount Everest and the Khumbu Glacier before making her way to Pokhara, ABC News reported.

Her sister-in-law, Marga Bello, posted a picture of her on Facebook accompanied by an emotional farewell, revealing that Palavecino was to be a grandmother for the first time next month.


Nishant Acharya

28-year-old Nishant Acharya, known as guitarfr3ak by his fans, was a guitarist, with over 70 thousand followers on Tiktok, 10 thousand on Instagram, and 28 thousand subscribers on his Youtube channel.

On the day of the incident, he was on his way to his hometown Pokhara along with his girlfriend, uncle and brother.

His Instagram has several videos on clean fingerstyle-guitar and other musical topics.

28-year-old Nishant Acharya.

(Photo: Instagram/guitarfr3ak)

In 2021, his Tiktok account blew up — going from 20 followers to over 21 thousand in a single month, The Kathmandu Post reported.

Abhisek Bhadra, a composer, keyboardist and an educator, was quoted as saying, "His passing is a great loss for Nepali music. Nishant was a fantastic musician and a passionate and committed educator."


Anju Khatiwada

44-year-old Anju Khatiwada — the co-pilot of the Yeti Airlines aircraft — was to become a chief pilot on landing at the Pokhara International Airport, digital news website Nepalkhabar reported.

In a tragic twist of fate, however, Khatiwada, who was minutes away from achieving her dream, ended up sharing her husband Deepak Pokhrel’s fate -- who had died 16 years ago in a plane crash.

"Her husband, Dipak Pokhrel, died in 2006 in a crash of a Twin Otter plane of Yeti Airlines in Jumla," airline spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula told Reuters.

"She got her pilot training with the money she got from the insurance after her husband's death," Bartaula said.

Yeti Airlines ATR-72 aircraft co-pilot Anju Khatiwada.

(Photo: Facebook/@sandeep.sapkota.12)

Since the weather on the day of the tragedy was clear, it remains to be seen what caused the crash.

Meanwhile, a crucial discovery of the crash, the black box — a cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder — has been handed over to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, said Yeti Airlines spokesperson Sudarshan Bartaula oon Tuesday, 17 January.

The Nepal government has also announced the formation of a five-member committee to investigate the crash.

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Topics:  Nepal   Plane Crash   Kathmandu 

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