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Sunday’s deadly plane crash in Nepal occurred 16 years after the flight’s co-pilot lost her husband in a similar tragedy, her airline said.

Anju Khatiwada, who was flying alongside an instructor pilot, is feared to be among those killed in Sunday’s crash in Pokhara, which left at least 69 people dead, a Yeti Airlines spokesman told Reuters.

Her husband, Dipak Pokhrel, was a pilot killed in a Yeti Airlines crash in Jumla, Nepal, in 2006, according to the airline.

“[Khatiwada] got her pilot training with the money she got from the insurance after her husband’s death,” the spokesman said.

Three people remain missing after Sunday’s crash, which officials say occurred in a gorge near a new airport in Pokhara, a popular vacation spot. Khatiwada has not been accounted for, while the instructor pilot, Kamal K.C., is confirmed dead.

Khatiwada, 44, became a pilot in 2010 and had 6,400 hours of flying time, Yeti Airlines said. She had made the flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara before.

“She was always ready to take up any duty and had flown to Pokhara earlier,” an unnamed Yeti official told Reuters.

Authorities are investigating what caused the twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft to go down. On Monday, officials retrieved flight data and cockpit voice recorders from the scene.

“The incident was tragic. The full force of the Nepali army, police has been deployed for rescue,” Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said Sunday.

The crash was the third-deadliest ever in Nepal. It was the deadliest there since 1992, when 167 people died in a plane’s collision with a hill in Kathmandu.

“The flames were so hot that we couldn’t go near the wreckage,” Bishnu Tiwari, a local resident, said of Sunday’s crash. “I heard a man crying for help, but because of the flames and smoke we couldn’t help him.”

With News Wire Services


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