Plane passenger’s Facebook in Nepal Live from plane, then crashes

Sonu Jaiswal apparently did a Facebook Live shortly before the plane crashed.

New Delhi:

A mobile phone found in the wreckage of the Yeti Airlines flight that crashed in Nepal today has apparently captured the final, deeply disturbing moments of the flight. The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft from Kathmandu, carrying 72 people, crashed shortly before landing in Pokhara, a major tourist destination in the Himalayan nation. At least 68 of the passengers are dead.

The video, which has been doing the rounds on social media, opens with footage of passengers sitting on the plane and the city below seen from the window as the plane circles before landing. Suddenly there is an explosion and the screen is turned upside down. The last few seconds show a horrific fire outside the window and cries of distraught passengers can be heard.

NDTV could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

Another video from the ground had captured the flight’s progress as it began landing. The plane suddenly tilted to the left, flipped upside down and, according to reports, then burst into a ball of fire.

There were five Indian passengers on board, all of whom were from Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh. One of them, Sonu Jaiswal, apparently did a Facebook Live shortly before the plane crashed. He is one of the dead. The same video can be found on his Facebook account, which is unverified.

Abhishek Pratap Shah, a former Nepal MP and member of the Central Committee of the Nepal Congress, who sent the video footage, told NDTV that he received the footage from a friend and that it was recovered from the wreckage today.

“It was sent by one of my friends who got it from police personnel. It is a real record. It is today’s video when the flight was about to land,” Mr. Shah told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

Rescue work is expected to continue tomorrow and a search is underway for the plane’s black box, which is expected to shed light on the reasons for the crash. Pokhara is just a 25 minute flight from Kathmandu, the capital of the Himalayan nation.

The aviation sector in Nepal has recently witnessed several plane crashes and there have been concerns about the safety and training of aircrew.

Since 2013, the European Union has blacklisted Nepal for flight safety. All flights from Nepal have been banned from EU airspace after the International Civil Aviation Organization reported safety concerns.

“This plane is the best we have in Nepal and all the leading airlines use the same plane,” Shah said.

Pointing out that Pokhara is a tourism hub, he said the country “needs to upgrade our aviation system, our aircraft, our information system and also our pilots”.

“It’s a serious time for Nepal. I think the current government is serious about this,” he added.

Leave a Comment