A cellphone recovered from the wreckage of a Yeti Airlines flight that crashed in Nepal today apparently captured the final, very disturbing moments of the flight. The twin-engine ATR 72 plane 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 died.
The video, which has been doing the rounds on social media, opens with a shot of passengers sitting inside the plane and the city below seen from the window before the plane lands. Suddenly there’s an explosion and the screen goes topsy-turvy.
Another video from the ground captured the flight’s progress as it began its descent. The plane suddenly veered to the left and reportedly burst into flames.
There were five Indian passengers on the plane, all of whom hailed from Gazipur in Uttar Pradesh. One of them, Sonu Jaiswal, was apparently doing a Facebook live shortly before the flight crashed. He is among the dead. The same video is also available on his Facebook account, which has not been verified.
Abhishek Pratap Shah, former Nepali MP and Nepali Congress central committee member, who sent the video footage, told todaystrendnews that he got the footage from a friend and it was recovered from the wreckage today.
This is a real record. This is today’s video as the flight was about to land,” Mr Shah told todaystrendnews in an exclusive interview.
Rescue operations are expected to continue tomorrow and a search is underway for the plane’s black box, which is expected to shed light on the cause of the crash. Pokhara is just a 25-minute flight from Kathmandu, the capital of the Himalayan nation.
Nepal’s aviation sector has recently witnessed several plane crashes. And there are concerns about the safety and training of flight personnel.
Since 2013, the European Union has placed Nepal on the flight safety blacklist. The International Civil Aviation Organization raised safety concerns.
“This aircraft is the best we have in Nepal and all leading airlines are operating the same aircraft,” Mr Shah said.
Pointing to Pokhara, a tourist hub, he said the country “needs to upgrade our aviation system, our aircraft, information system, pilots too”.
“This is a serious time for Nepal. I think the present government is serious about this,” he added.