State Department confirms two U.S. citizens, two lawful permanent residents, on board fatal airline crash in Nepal

There was a terrible commercial airline crash in the mountainous Central Asian nation of Nepal on Sunday that resulted in the death of all 72 individuals on board.

It has now been revealed that American citizens were among the passengers on board the aircraft that plummeted to the bottom of a deep gorge in a fiery explosion, the Daily Wire reported.

That is but one of several tragedies to have emerged from this particular fatal incident since the aircraft crashed while approaching the airport in the city of Pokhara after taking off just a short while earlier from the nation’s capital of Kathmandu.

Americans were on board

Fox News reported that the U.S. State Department has confirmed that two American citizens plus two legal U.S. permanent residents were on Yeti Airlines Flight 691 when it crashed.

“Our thoughts are with the families of those on board,” Ned Price, spokesman for the State Department, said Wednesday in a statement. “The United States stands ready to support Nepal in any way we can at this difficult hour.”

Those four individuals have not yet been identified by U.S. authorities, presumably because their families or next of kin have not yet been notified first.

Investigation ongoing

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Nepalese authorities had recovered the downed aircraft’s so-called “black box,” or flight data recorder, as well as the cockpit voice recorder from the wreckage at the bottom of a nearly 1,000-foot deep gorge in which the Seti River flows.

As part of the investigation into what occurred, local authorities will review the cockpit voice recorder while the flight data recorder will be sent to France, where the manufacturer of the ATR 72-500t twin-engine turboprop aircraft is based.

They will also likely review two videos of the accident that immediately went viral on social media, the first filmed from the ground that showed the aircraft suddenly roll over onto its side before plummeting to the ground while the other, an infinitely more disturbing video, was filmed from inside the plane as a passenger live-streamed the landing approach and continued to broadcast momentarily after the crash amid the fire and smoke and screams.

It remains unclear at this time what caused the crash, as the weather around Pokhara was clear, but the AP noted that Nepal is notorious for airline crashes due in large part to its exceptionally mountainous terrain that can cause unexpected wind gusts and rapidly changing weather patterns.

In fact, the outlet noted that there have been at least 42 fatal aircraft crashes in Nepal since 1946, with Sunday’s incident — 72 dead, including four crew members and 68 passengers — being the most deadly since 1992 when a Pakistani airliner crashed into the side of a hill on the approach to Kathmandu, killing all 167 people on board.

Co-pilot followed the footsteps of late pilot husband who died years earlier

Another heartbreaking tragedy to emerge from this airliner crash, according to Reuters, is the story of the plane’s co-pilot, Anju Khatiwada, whose body has not been recovered but is presumed to have perished in the wreck.

The 44-year-old Khatiwada had obtained her pilot’s license and joined Yeti Airlines in 2010 in order to honor her late husband, Dipak Pokhrel, who had also been a pilot for Yeti Airlines but died in 2006 when the Twin Otter aircraft he was flying crashed.

The entire ordeal is incredibly terrible and we offer up condolences and prayers of solace for all who are now mourning the loss of a loved one in this tragic accident in Nepal.

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