Kerala family mourns the death of 3 friends in the Nepal plane crash

The family had recently lost an elder and the three deceased friends had come for the funeral before meeting their untimely end.


Published Jan 16, 2023 | 7:49 PM Updated Jan 16, 2023 | 7:49 PM

Yeti Airlines' 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft took off from Kathmandu and crashed on the banks of Seti river. Representative image. (Creative Commons)

Little did anyone in Pathanamthitta know that a plane crash in Nepal would leave a family in their quiet pilgrim town completely shattered.

The Yeti Airlines plane that crashed in Pokhara on Sunday was carrying, among others, three close friends of a family in Pathanamthitta.

The family members, who had recently lost an elder, are now inconsolable as three of their friends from Nepal — who had come to attend the funeral — have met their untimely end.

Gone too soon

The victims — Raju, Rabin and Anil — had reached Anicadu village in Pathanamthitta from Nepal on Friday morning to participate in the funeral of Mathew Philip.

Philip was an evangelical Christian missionary with whom they were emotionally connected through faith since his missionary days in the Himalayan nation.

“The funeral was on 13 January. Their return flight was from Kochi to Mumbai and then to Kathmandu. The three of them boarded the ill-fated flight from Kathmandu. The news was a shock to us,” Philip’s brother Thomas told PTI.

“We were very close to them. They were so dear to my daddy,” Philip’s daughter told a news channel. Two of the victims had visited their home at Anicadu on an earlier occasion, she recalled.

Philip’s nephew said that Anil had sent him a message from Kathmandu, before the plane took off to Pokhara.
“Reached safely — that was his last message,” he said.

Also Read: Plane crashes at Pokhara airport in Nepal; no survivors

The tragic incident

At least 68 people were killed when the plane crashed into a river gorge while landing at the newly-opened Pokhara International Airport in Nepal on Sunday.

This is being termed the Himalayan nation’s deadliest aviation accident in over 30 years.

Yeti Airlines’s 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am and crashed on the banks of Seti river — between the old airport and the new airport — minutes before landing, stated the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

A total of 68 passengers and four crew members were on board the aircraft. Fifteen foreign nationals onboard the plane included five Indians, four Russians, two Koreans, an Australian, a French, an Argentine, and an Israeli.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)