Nepal plane crash: Passenger video appears to show harrowing final moments of doomed flight

Nepal plane crash: Passenger video appears to show harrowing final moments of doomed flight

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Cell phone video taken by a Yeti Airlines passenger who crashed in Nepal appears to show the harrowing final moments of the flight.

Indian national Sonu Jaiswal, who was traveling with three friends, looked happy and relaxed as he pointed his phone camera out the window of the plane and around the cabin. But after a sudden shake, the camera picture becomes unstable. Within seconds, smoke obscures the view and there is a sense of chaos as people scream and the screen fills with flames. It appears to confirm that there was no warning indication prior to the crash.

Indian police have confirmed the identities of the passengers seen in the video, but the authenticity of the entire video and everything it shows remained unclear on Monday.

The Yeti Airlines ATR 72-500 turboprop was flying from India to Nepal when it went down suddenly on approach to the newly opened airport in the city of Pokhara. All 72 people on board the flight are believed to have died.

Yeti Airlines confirmed that flight data and cockpit voice recorders — the so-called black boxes — were discovered Monday, a day after the plane went down, which may help determine the cause of the crash.

Plane crash scene in Nepal
An emergency response team at the crash site of the Yeti Airlines plane in Pokhara, Nepal on January 16, 2023.


Dhirendra Pratap Singh, an inspector at the Bersar police station in India, the town where the four Indian victims of the crash lived, told CBS News’ Arshad Zargar that he met with the families of the four men and confirmed their identities from the video.

However, it remains unclear how the video, which Singh said was shot by Jaiswal, ended up on social media on Monday, where it went viral. There are reports that it was either streamed live on Facebook or found on a phone that somehow survived the crash.

Singh could not clarify that part of the story to CBS News and said he could not say whether the video had been altered in any way.

In the first part of the video, Jaiswal captures images of the plane making what appears to be a routine descent, with recognizable buildings and roads of Pokhara below.

A witness who recorded video of the plane coming off the ground said it appeared to be a normal landing until the plane suddenly made a sharp left turn.

“I saw this and I was shocked,” Diwas Bohora told The Associated Press. “I thought today would be the end here, after it collapses I’ll be dead too.”

He said the ground shook violently and flames erupted from the crash site not far from where he was standing.

“When I saw that scene, I was scared,” he said.

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