One of the passengers on board the ill-fated plane in Nepal that plunged to the ground, killing 68 people on Sunday, appeared to have live-streamed the final moments on Facebook Live. The video appears to show the inside of the aircraft moments before the accident, as the plane crashed on the runway of the recently opened airport in the city of Pokhara.
The video shot from the passenger's phone has since gone viral on social media. It shows the Yeti Airlines flight descending toward the Pokhara airport when it suddenly goes down and bursts into flame. The video also appears to capture the cries of the distraught passengers before the plane catches fire, killing them.
The video, which was allegedly captured by an Indian man by the name of Sonu Jaiswal, appears to show passengers grinning as the jet passes over buildings. The Yeti Airlines logo can be seen over Jaiswal's shoulder, and there is also an advertisement for Nepalese insurance on the tray of the aircraft.
Suddenly there is an explosion and the screen goes topsy-turvy. The final few seconds show a horrifying fire outside the window and cries of distraught passengers can be heard. The phone kept on recording even as the plane was engulfed in flames.
Jaiswal's phone was recovered from the debris at the site of the crash. Jaiswal was one of the five Indians killed in the fatal crash, who live streamed the video on Facebook Live.
Although the veracity of the video has not independently verified, the Times of India claims to have spoken to Jaiswal's cousin, who confirmed the 29-year-old was on the aircraft. According to the investigation, just before the collision, one of Jaiswal's companionsâall three of whom were also Indians â shouted, "It's real fun!"
Jaiswal was broadcasting on Facebook Live after boarding the plane for Pokhara, according to his cousin Rajat Jaiswal, who was quoted in the report. "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."
The phone went on recording even after the crash before stopping suddenly.
Another dramatic video doing the rounds on social media captures the flight's progress from the ground as it started landing before bursting into flames. According to reports, the jet then abruptly tipped to the left, spun upside down, and erupted into a ball of fire.
The video was sent by former Nepali MP and Central Committee member Abhishek Pratap Shah, who told NDTV that he had received it from a friend and that it had been found among the rubble by rescue workers.
"It was sent by one of my friends who received it from police personnel. It is a real record. It is today's video as the flight was about to land," Shah told NDTV.
Rescue work is expected to continue on Monday and the search is on for the plane's black box, which is expected to shed light on the reasons behind the crash. Pokhara is only a 25-minute flight from Kathmandu, the capital of the Himalayan nation.
The crash involved a twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft operated by Yeti Airlines. The flight was making the 30-minute journey from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to Pokhara.
The plane had 72 passengers, including 15 foreign nationals, and at least 68 are reported to have been killed when it crashed into a canyon not far from the city's new airport.
According to Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority, the disaster's exact cause is yet unknown.
The aircraft crashed after losing touch with the airport at 10.50 am local time, according to the aviation authority. As it made its landing approach to the airport, video appears to show the plane suddenly tilting and falling toward the ground.
A witness claimed to have seen the airplane rapidly spinning in the air as it descended to the ground as he watched from his home's terrace.
Bishnu Tiwari, a local resident who rushed to the crash site near the Seti River to assist in the hunt for remains, claimed that heavy smoke and a blazing fire has been hindering rescue efforts.