- Written by Zoya Mateen
- BBC News, Delhi
Just hours after Nepal’s deadliest plane crash in 30 years, a video has gone viral in India – the footage shows one of the victims, Sonu Jaiswal, streaming straight from the plane seconds before it crashed.
He was part of a group of four friends from Gazipur, India, who were visiting Nepal and took the trek from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
In the video, it is possible to see the surroundings of Pokhara Airport from the plane during landing.
It is not believed that any of the 72 people on board survived the accident.
The video shows the plane over buildings. Soon after, there is a deafening roar.
Within seconds, huge flames and smoke fill the screen as the camera continues recording. You can hear what appears to be a motor, as well as glass breaking and then a scream before the video ends.
Sonu Jaiswal’s friends and family said they had seen the video on his Facebook account and confirmed its authenticity.
“Sonu opened the live broadcast shortly before the plane crashed in a gorge near River City,” Jaiswal’s friend, Mukesh Kashyap, told reporters.
Local journalist Shashikant Tiwari told the BBC that Kashyap showed him the video on Jaiswal’s Facebook profile, which was set to private.
Videos posted on social media show a plane flying low over a populated area before crashing sharply,
It is unclear how Jaiswal accessed the internet to broadcast from the plane.
Abhishek Pratap Shah, a former member of the Nepali parliament, told India’s NDTV news channel that rescuers recovered the phone on which the video was found from the plane wreckage.
“for him [o clipe] It was sent by a friend of mine who received it from a cop. “It is a real recording,” Shah told the news channel.
Nepalese authorities have not confirmed or commented on the footage, something that could help crash investigators in their work.
But for the four best friends – Jaiswal, Abhishek Kushwaha, Anil Rajbar and Vishal Sharma – none of that matters. They say they are “too broken” to care.
“The pain is difficult to explain,” said Chandraban Maurya, brother of Abhishek Kushwaha.
“The government needs our help as much as it can. We want the bodies of our loved ones back to us.”
Authorities in Ghazipur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, said they were in touch with the four families and the Indian embassy in Kathmandu to provide any possible assistance.
“We also told the families that if they want to travel to Kathmandu, we will make all the arrangements for them,” District Magistrate Ariyaka Akhuri told reporters.
Many of the villagers remember the four men as “gentle and pleasant spirits”. They said they were devastated by the tragedy that had befallen their quiet lives.
Some of them also joined the protests, demanding compensation for their families.
The families of the Indian victims have asked the government for compensation.
The four men, all in their twenties or thirties, had been friends for many years and often spent time together.
Locals say they went to Nepal on January 13 to visit the Pashupatinath Temple, a large shrine on the outskirts of Kathmandu dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
The trip was supposed to be the idea of Jaiswal – a father of three, who wanted to pray at the temple for another son.
After visiting the temple, the friends left on Sunday for Pokhara – a picturesque resort town located near the Annapurna mountain range – to go paragliding. They planned to return to Kathmandu.
“But fate had something else in store for him,” an unnamed relative of Jaiswal told PTI news agency.
The four men were among the five Indians on board. Officials said 53 of the passengers were Nepalese, four Russians and one Korean. Other passengers on board will be from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France.
On Monday (16/1), Indian social networks were filled with photos of the crash site and video taken by Jaiswal.
Jaiswal’s father, Rajendra Prasad Jaiswal, said he was unable to watch the recording alone. “I only heard about it from Sonu’s friends. And our lives fell apart.”
While mourners stood in disbelief in the neighborhood, Anil Rajbar’s father remained aloof.
Her son left for Nepal on January 13 without informing the family. Neighbors said that while her father was busy tending to his farm, Anil quietly packed her bags and went out with friends.
* Additional reporting by Shashikant Tiwari in Uttar Pradesh
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