A video clip, reportedly live-streamed by one of the five Indians on board the Yeti Airlines Kathmandu-Pokhara flight which crashed on Sunday, purportedly shows the last moments before the plane went down.
Four of the five Indians — Abhishek Kushwaha (25), Vishal Sharma (25), Anil Kumar Rajbhar (25) and Sonu Jaiswal (30) — were friends, all residents of Ghazipur district in Uttar Pradesh.
Passenger films when onboard Yeti Airlines aircraft before crashing near Pokhara Airport in Nepal. Via @AmardipSpeaks
Don’t watch if you can’t handle it! pic.twitter.com/2V0EUpnSWp
— Ali Hashem علي هاشم (@alihashem_tv) January 15, 2023
While there is no official confirmation on the authenticity of the video clip, Sonu Jaiswal’s father, Rajendra Kumar Jaiswal, identified his son as the person in the clip.
In the 1.39-minute-long video clip, Sonu Jaiswal is seen inside the plane. The video clip shows passengers inside the aircraft, and then the landscape of the ground below as the plane descends for landing. Moments later, there is commotion, some people can be heard screaming, and then there is blurred footage, including of a fire as flames fill the screen.
Meanwhile, the family members of the four Ghazipur residents left for Nepal – by road — after receiving phone calls from the authorities there.
“After the families informed us, we contacted the embassy. The Nepal authorities had called the family members for DNA identification. After making all arrangements, we have sent the families,” said Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Ghazipur, Veer Bahadur Yadav.
“A retired revenue officer has been deputed to accompany the families in Nepal. The retired officer will remain with them in Nepal till all the procedures are completed,” said Ghazipur Tehsildar Jaya Singh.
“One member from each family is going to Nepal. I have been told that the state government has made all the arrangements for us in Nepal,” said Rajendra Kumar Jaiswal, who was on his way to Nepal.
“We have been told that a team from the Nepal government will be coming to the India-Nepal border to escort us,” he said. He said two local residents of Ghazipur were accompanying them. “We are a total of seven persons, including a retired government officer,” he said.
The plane, with 72 people on board, crashed into a gorge minutes before landing at the Pokhara airport on Sunday morning. A Reuters report said 70 bodies have been recovered so far. The remaining two passengers are also feared dead but the bodies are yet to be recovered.
Search teams have retrieved the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the crash site.