WARNING: Distressing footage.
Harrowing new footage appearing to be filmed by a group of passengers from inside the doomed flight that crashed in Nepal has emerged.
At least 68 of the 72 passengers who were on board the ATR-72 turboprop have been confirmed dead after the plane crashed on Sunday, marking the Himalayan country’s worst aircraft tragedy in nearly five years.
It has since been revealed that an Australian was on-board the Yeti Airways aircraft, though it is not yet known whether they are among the dead.
Now a video has emerged appearing to show the final moments before the crash, with four passengers live-streaming on Facebook when the crash occurred.
According to The Times of India, one of the passengers shouts, “mauj kar di”, meaning “it’s real fun” as the video pans over to the window, showing the city of Pokhara below.
The four passengers have been named as Sonu Jaiswal, 29, Anil Rajbhar, 28, Vishal Sharma, 23 and Abhishek Singh Kushwaha, 23.
The passengers, all from Ghaziur in India, were reportedly among the five Indians who died in the crash.
The video pans over to Sonu Jaiswal and briefly shows some of the other passengers on the flight before everything suddenly begins to shake and passengers can be heard screaming.
The end of the gut-wrenching video shows what appears to be flames.
The Times of India reported the four passengers who streamed the crash had landed in Kathmandu on January 13 and were headed to the city of Pokhara to do paragliding after performing a puja worship ritual at Pashupatinath Temple.
‘Like a bomb went off’
Another video, which has been shared to social media, shows what is reported to be the Yeti Airlines plane flying low towards what appears to be a residential building before abruptly turning 90 degrees and coming even lower to the ground.
It then disappears from view before the camera is turned towards the ground. Then there is a loud noise, followed by what sounds like screams.
Journalist for the BBC and CNN Wajahat Kazmi shared the footage and said: “Horrifying last moments of an ATR plane crash from Nepal in Pokhara that was bound for Kathmandu.”
The flight crashed into the gorge between Pokhara’s domestic and brand new international airport, which had only just opened on New Year’s Day.
Arun Tamu, 44, who was about 500 metres from where the incident occurred, told the AFP the crash sounded like a “bomb”.
“I was walking when I heard a loud blast like a bomb went off,” he said.
“A few of us rushed to see if we can rescue anybody. I saw at least two women were breathing. The fire was getting very intense and it made it difficult for us to approach closer.”
Fates of some passengers still unclear
Airline spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula told AFP it’s unknown if there are survivors.
“There are 68 passengers on board and four crew members,” he said.
“Rescue is under way; we don’t know right now if there are survivors.”
Hundreds of rescue workers continued to scour the site in the hope of finding someone still alive.
“We are actively working to retrieve and identify the bodies as soon as possible and hand [them] over to their families,” police official AK Chhetri told AFP at the crash site.
A local official had earlier said that “some survivors” had been taken to hospital, but this was not confirmed by the aircraft’s operator Yeti Airlines or other officials.
Yeti spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula told AFP that 15 foreigners were on board, including five Indians, four Russians and two South Koreans, with one passenger each from Argentina, Australia, France and Ireland. The rest were Nepalis.
– with Kate Schneider and AFP
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