A cellphone video taken by a passenger on the Yeti Airlines plane that crashed in Nepal appears to show the harrowing final moments of the flight.
Indian national Sonu Jaiswal, who was traveling with three friends, seemed happy and calm as he pointed his phone camera out the plane window and around the cabin. But after a sudden jolt, the camera shot goes unsteady. Within seconds, smoke obscures the view and there’s a sense of chaos as people scream and the screen fills with flames. It appears to confirm there was no indication of a warning before the crash.
Indian police have confirmed the identity of the passengers seen in the video, but the authenticity of the full video and everything it shows remained unclear on Monday.
The Yeti Airlines ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft was flying from India to Nepal when it went down suddenly on approach to a newly opened airport in the city of Pokhara. It is believed that all 72 people aboard the flight were killed.
Yeti Airlines confirmed that the flight data and cockpit voice recorders — the so-called black boxes — were found on Monday, a day after the plane went down, which could help determine a cause for the crash.
Dhirendra Pratap Singh, an inspector at the Bersar Police Station in India, the town in which the four Indian victims of the crash lived, told CBS News’ Arshad Zargar that he’d met with the four men’s families and confirmed their identities from the video.
It remained unclear however, how the video, which Singh said was shot by Jaiswal, got onto social media on Monday, where it spread quickly. There were reports that it was either livestreamed 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 couldn’t say whether the video had been altered in any way.
In the first part of the video, Jaiswal captured images of the plane making what seemed to be a routine descent, with recognizable buildings and roads of Pokhara below.
A witness who recorded video of the plane’s descent from the ground said it looked like a normal landing until the plane suddenly turned sharply to the left.
“I saw that, and I was shocked,” Diwas Bohora told The Associated Press. “I thought that today everything will be finished here after it crashes, I will also be dead.”
He said the ground shook violently and flames shot up from the scene of the crash not far from where he stood.
“Seeing that scene, I was scared,” he said.
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