A British man was among dozens of people killed in Nepal’s deadliest air crash in decades.
Ruan Calum Crighton was among 72 people onboard the Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara in the Annapurna mountain range when it crashed without warning on Sunday.
Crighton’s nationality was initially described as Irish but it has since been confirmed he was travelling on a UK passport. His was among the names of passengers published by the civil aviation authority of Nepal on Sunday.
The former ballet dancer from Essex 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.
On Monday a spokesperson for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs can confirm that an individual indicated in reports as being Irish is a UK national.
“The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is providing consular support. Our deepest sympathies go to all those who have been affected by this tragic plane crash.”
An FCDO spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Nepal and are in contact with the local authorities.”
It has been confirmed that at least 68 people were killed in the crash. There appears to be little hope that any of the other four people on the plane have survived. Fifteen foreign nationals were among those on board, according to Nepal’s aviation authority.
It is unclear what caused the crash, Nepal’s worst air accident in 30 years. The flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder have been retrieved from the site.
Moments before the crash a group of passengers from India began recording the aircraft’s descent on a Facebook live video. All appeared calm in the plane, with no emergency announcements or warnings from the pilot or staff. Suddenly, the plane appears to veer off with a loud roar, and the sounds of it crashing to the ground are captured on the phone camera, before the screen is filled with flames.
Mobile phone footage showed the plane veering on its side with a wing close to the ground as it approached the runway. It crashed into the gorge of the Seti River, less than a mile from the airport. Fragments of the aircraft were found on both sides of the river.