Nepal air crash passenger films chilling final moments on Facebook Live
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Featured Image Credit: Gajraj Singh Parihar/Twitter
Chilling passenger footage of the Nepal plane crash has emerged on social media after at least 68 out of the 72 on board have died.
The regional passenger plane crashed into a gorge while landing at a newly-opened airport in Pokhara.
It is Nepal's deadliest aviation accident in three decades.
Passenger Sonu Jaiswal was unaware of what was to come as he records the view from the plane with a smile on his face.
Suddenly, the aircraft starts to shake and on-board passengers are heard shouting and screaming.
As the clip continues the camera pans towards a view of the cabin and within a matter of moments, flames light up the plane.
Sonu's identity was confirmed by Times of India who spoke to his cousin.
"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," cousin Rajat Jaiswal said.
Many crowded near the steep gorge as rescuers combed the wreckage on the edge of the cliff and in the ravine below.
Local resident Bishnu Tiwari, who rushed to the crash site to help search with the search, said: "The flames were so hot that we couldn’t go near the wreckage."
At the crash site near the Seti River, nearly a mile from Pokhara International Airport, rescuers sprayed fire hoses and heaved ropes down to another smouldering part of the wreck below.
Witness Gaurav Gurung said: "The plane caught fire after the crash. There was smoke everywhere."
The aviation authority said the plane last made contact with the airport from near Seti Gorge at 10.50am local time.
The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft, operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airlines, was flying from the capital, Kathmandu, to Pokhara, a 27-minute flight.
It was carrying 68 passengers, including 15 foreign nationals, as well as four crew members, the Civil Aviation Authority said.
The passengers included five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who rushed to the airport after the crash, set up a panel to investigate the accident.
”The incident was tragic. The full force of the Nepali army, police has been deployed for rescue,” he said.
The type of plane involved has been used by several airlines around the world for short regional flights.