Alaska News

Homer man with deep roots in Nepal among those killed in Himalayan plane crash

A Homer man was among those who perished in a deadly commercial jet crash in Nepal last weekend.

Hari Pariyar, 40, was from Nepal but had lived in Homer since 2015, his wife, Corrina Pariyar, wrote in an email.

The couple was raising two young daughters and building a house together. In December, Pariyar traveled back to Nepal to see family.

“It has been four years since we had been back, and I knew he was missing his homeland and family,” Corrina wrote in an email from Nepal, where she had traveled to attend to funeral arrangements and spend time with family.

Hari, his first wife, Rita, and children Laxmi and Krish were all on board the Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to the scenic tourist hub of Pokhara on Jan. 15 for a getaway to celebrate a birthday, she said. The flight crashed as it approached the Pokhara airport, killing all 72 people on the plane.

The U.S. State Department has said two U.S. citizens and two lawful permanent residents were killed in the crash, the deadliest in 30 years in Nepal. Pariyar was a U.S. citizen, his wife said.

Corrina, a longtime Homer resident, first encountered Hari in 2013 at a temple in Kathmandu known as a meeting place for people who identify as Buddhist and Hindu, she said.


“I felt an instantaneous connection upon meeting him that I was unable to push aside,” she said.

They fell in love dancing in Kathmandu nightclubs, and by 2015 Hari had immigrated to Alaska. Their older daughter was born shortly after.

Less than a month later, a major earthquake in Nepal killed more than 10,000 people. The Homer community banded together to raise money for earthquake relief in Nepal, Corrina said. Another relative, Sushmita Pariyar, also lived in the Homer area.

[Previously: After devastating quake, Alaskans with ties to Nepal hope for news]

Finding work in the end-of-the-road Kenai Peninsula community of under 6,000 could be a struggle, but Hari learned carpentry and did landscaping, his wife said.

“He was getting to be a pretty good carpenter,” said Charlie Kieffer, Corrina’s father, also a Homer resident. The family was devoted to their young daughters, ages 7 and 3, said Kieffer.

Hari loved to dance and found a community playing pool and dancing at Homer establishments, she said. He posted social media videos of Alaska moments — the aurora borealis, dancing on the driveway of his property with a backdrop of spruce trees and pushki, doing construction on the Homer Spit — for an audience mostly in Nepal. He had nearly 30,000 followers.

Hari wanted to raise awareness about caste-based discrimination in Nepal, something he’d experienced, his wife said. He dreamed of changing the way lower-caste people were treated.

Being separated from family members in Nepal was difficult.

“We had talked about the day we could all be together as a whole family unit in Alaska,” she said. “Unfortunately, the immigration process is very strict, and even a visitor visa was not possible for our family to be together this way.”

After news of the crash, Corrina and Sushmita traveled to Nepal. “In Hindu tradition, we will be cremating their bodies alongside the Bagmati river at the Pashupatinath Temple,” a sacred temple and an important death ritual, she said.

Losing her husband has “felt impossible in body and mind,” she said. “I’m finding strength in allowing myself to be held by those who love me and loved him,” she wrote. As of Friday, an online fundraiser had raised more than $22,000 for Corrina and their children.

“I try to keep to mind that he is no longer suffering,” she wrote. “Even though his last moments with his family feel impossibly full of that.”

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Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a reporter who covers news and features about life in Alaska, and has been focusing on corrections and psychiatric care issues in the state. Contact her at