The final moments of the Nepal plane crash on January were captured on a passenger’s Facebook Live video. Authorities believe at least 69 people were killed when Yeti Airlines flight 69 crashed on Sunday, January 15, 2023, according to a press release from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.
The crash happened on a 30-minute flight from Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, to Pokhara, near the Annapurna Mountain Range, which is about 125 miles away, aviation officials said. According to the press release, there were 72 people on board. There have been 69 bodies found, but officials have not said if they believe there are any survivors. According to the aviation authority, the plane’s passengers included 53 Nepalese people, along with five from India, four from Russia, two from Korea, one person from Australia, one person from Argentina, one person frome Ireland and one person from France.
According to The Economic Times, Sonu Jaiswal’s cousin Rajat Jaiswal confirmed that the video was streamed live on Sonu Jaiswal’s Facebook profile. “Sonu was on Facebook live after boarding the flight for Pokhara. The live-streaming showed that Sonu and his companions were in a happy mood but all of a sudden flames appeared before the streaming stopped,” he told The Economic Times.
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Other video showed the plane wreckage after the crash.
Another video showed the plane flying in the air right before the crash.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Video Shows a Passenger on the Nepal Plane Looking Out the Window Before It Suddenly Crashes
The Facebook Live video was posted to Twitter by Gajraj Singh Parihar, described as “।MBA।Nation First।Data Analyst।Books।Music।Lyrics।Cinema।Meena Kumari।Traveller।Anthophile l Uttarakhandi।Koo.”
Parihar wrote on Twitter, “During the Nepal plane accident, a passenger who was the victim of the accident was doing Facebook Live, the video went viral on social media. At least 68 people have died after a 72-seater plane crashed. #planecrash #NepalPlaneCrash #Nepal #pokhra #NepalPlaneCrashVideo.”
The video showed a passenger looking out the window. The plane was flying low, but it didn’t seem to be flying that erratically. In fact, the passengers did not look that distressed before the video went into chaos and then flames were seen.
According to one translation on Facebook, “‘Mauj Kar Di’ (it’s real fun) shouts one of them excitedly as the 1.30-minute video shows the Pokhara town below.”
Screams can be heard and then glimpses of the wreckage are seen in the Facebook Live video.
According to The Associated Press, the 27-minute flight “crashed into a gorge” in Nepal, “while attempting to land at a newly opened airport.”
The AP reported that at least 68 of the 72 people aboard died in the crash. AP reported that a witness “saw the aircraft spinning violently in the air after it began descending to land,” and then said “the plane fell nose-first towards its left and crashed into the gorge.”
According to the AP, the “twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft” was operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airlines, and was flying from the capital, Kathmandu, to Pokhara. CNN reported that four people remained missing.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Pilot Amit Singh, founder of India’s Safety Matters Foundation, told The Associated Press the plane’s nose appeared to be high before the left wing dorpped suddenly and the aircraft fell out of sight in videos posted to social media. Singh said, “If you see the trajectory of the aircraft, the aircraft’s nose goes up, and the nose up would be associated with a reduction in speed. When they have stalls, typically one wing goes down and wings are basically generating the lift. So as the air flow reduces, the lift generated is not enough to sustain the aircraft in flight and the wing drops and the aircraft nosedives.”
The Passenger Who Captured the Live Stream Video Was One of 5 Passengers From India
The Free Press Journal reported that one of the Indian passengers who died in the crash filmed the video.
The Press Journal identified the Indian passengers who died as “Abhisekh Kushwaha, 25, Bishal Sharma, 22, Anil Kumar Rajbhar, 27, Sonu Jaiswal, 35, and Sanjaya Jaiswal.”
Local resident Bishnu Tiwari told AP: “The flames were so hot that we couldn’t go near the wreckage. I heard a man crying for help, but because of the flames and smoke we couldn’t help him.”
According to CNN, the plane crash was Nepal’s “deadliest plane crash in more than 30 years.”
CNN reported that 37 victims were men, 25 were women, three were children and three were infants. The cause is still under investigation, according to CNN.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal added in its statement that “2 helicopters were deployed immediately toward the crash site for search and rescue operation. A groudn rescue team consisting of Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, local municipality and Himalayan Rescue Associaton including Rescue and Firefighting Service of Pokhara regional international airport moved immediately toward the crash site for prompt rescue operation. The rescue operation is still in progress.”
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