Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Trigger warning: Some of our readers may find the following content disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.
Hours after the plane crashed in Nepal, a video went viral on social media that captured the heart-wrenching final moments of the passengers before the incident, BBC reported.
The video was filmed by one of the victims — Sonu Jaiswal — who was livestreaming from the plane and caught the horrific moments just a few seconds before and after the crash.
On January 15, at least 70 people were killed when a domestic flight of Yeti Airlines crashed in Pokhara in Nepal, the worst air crash in three decades in the small Himalayan nation.
Sonu was one of the four Indians who were on the flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
The video shows the airport's surroundings from the plane before it gets ready to land. In the footage, the plane could be seen gliding over the buildings as the man then moves the camera towards his face while smiling.
Sonu could then be seen filming other passengers on the plane as well, not knowing what is going to happen the very next second.
Within a few seconds, an explosion could be seen with smoke filling the screen as the camera continues to record. Distraught passengers could be heard screaming before the video ends.
The authenticity of the video has been confirmed by Sonu's family and friends, who said that they watched the video on his Facebook account.
"Sonu did the [livestream] when the plane crashed in a gorge near the Seti River," said one of Sonu's friends.
It is unclear how the man livestreamed the video from the plane.
According to a former lawyer in Nepal, the phone was rescued after the crash which had the video in it.
"It [the video clip] was sent by one of my friends, who received it from a police officer. It is a real record," Abhishek Pratap Shah told NDTV.
However, his claims have not been confirmed by the officials in Nepal.
Another video, filmed by someone else from the ground, shows the plane when it starts to land. As per the reports, the plane tilts to the left suddenly, turns upside down and then catches fire.
Nepal has a history of deadly air crashes. Before Sunday's crash, 273 people had been killed in the country in 17 air crashes since 2000.
A day earlier, the searches found both the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from a passenger flight.
The data on the recorders may help investigators determine what caused the ATR 72 aircraft, carrying 72 people, to crash in clear weather just before landing in the tourist city of Pokhara.
Teknath Sitaula, a Kathmandu Airport official, said the so-called black boxes "are in a good condition now. They look good from outside."
Pokhara police official Ajay KC said the search-and-rescue operation, which stopped because of darkness on Sunday, had resumed.
"We will take out the five bodies from the gorge and search for the remaining four that are still missing,” he told Reuters. "It is cloudy now... causing a problem in the search."
The other 63 bodies had been sent to a hospital, he said. A spokesperson for Pokhara airport also said that the weather was hampering rescue efforts, but that clouds were expected to clear later in the day.