Publishes Plane Crash in Nepal on Facebook
In the hours after the deadliest plane crash in Nepal in 30 years, a video went viral in India.
It shows one of the crash victims, Sonu Jaiswal, doing a live broadcast from the plane seconds before the crash.
Jaiswal was part of a group of four friends from the town of Ghazipur, India, who were visiting Nepal and were on the flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
In the images, the surroundings of the Pokhara airport are visible from the plane seconds before it crashed. Those on board do not know that they are only minutes from death.
What is seen in the video?
Before the fatal crash, video shows the plane flying over buildings. Jaiswal turns the camera towards him and smiles.
She then turns it around again to show other passengers on the plane.
A few moments pass and there is a deafening roar.
Within seconds, huge flames and smoke fill the screen as the camera continues to roll. What sounds like the screeching of an engine is heard, as well as breaking glass.
Jaiswal’s friends and family told reporters they had seen the video on her Facebook account, confirming its authenticity.
“Sonu made the broadcast when the plane crashed in a gorge near the Seti river,” Mukesh Kashyap, a friend of Jaiswal’s, told reporters.
Local journalist Shashikant Tiwari told the BBC that Kashyap showed him the video on Jaiswal’s Facebook profile, which is set to private.
It is not clear how Jaiswal managed to access the internet and broadcast from the plane.
Abhishek Pratap Shah, a former Nepalese lawmaker, told Indian news channel NDTV that rescuers had recovered the phone on which the video was found from the wreckage of the plane.
“[The video clip] was sent by one of my friends, who received it from a police officer. It’s an authentic recording,” Shah told NDTV.
Nepalese authorities have not confirmed this claim or commented on the footage, which could help accident investigators in their work.
But for the loved ones of the four men – Sonu Jaiswal, Abhishek Kushwaha, Anil Rajbhar and Vishal Sharma – none of this matters. They say they are “too broken” to care about it.
“The pain is hard to explain,” said Chandrabhan Maurya, Abhishek Kushwaha’s brother.
“The government has to help us as much as it can. We want the bodies of our loved ones back.”
Authorities in Ghazipur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, said they are in contact with the four families and the Indian embassy in Kathmandu to offer any help possible.
“We have also told the families that if they want to travel to Kathmandu, we will make all the arrangements for them,” District Magistrate Aryaka Akhauri told reporters.
Several villagers remembered the four men as “kind, fun-loving souls”. They said they were devastated by the tragedy that had struck their quiet lives.
Some of them also joined the protests demanding compensation for the families.
The four men, believed to be in their 20s and 30s, had been friends for many years and often spent time together.
Locals say they had gone to Nepal on January 13 to visit the Pashupatinath temple, a large shrine on the outskirts of Kathmandu that is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
The trip was reportedly the idea of Jaiswal, who was the father of three children. He wanted to pray in the temple to have another child.
After visiting the site, the friends left for Pokhara, a picturesque resort town near the Annapurna mountain range, on Sunday to go paragliding. They planned to return to Kathmandu.
“But fate had something more in store for him,” an anonymous relative of Jaiswal told the PTI news agency.
The four men were among the five Indians on board. Authorities said 53 of the passengers were Nepalese, along with four Russians and two Koreans. There were also citizens of the United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina and France.
On Monday, social media in India was flooded with images of the crash site and video shot by Jaiswal.
The man’s father, Rajendra Prasad Jaiswal, said he could not bear to watch the video. “I’ve only heard it from Sonu’s friends. Our lives have fallen apart.”
As groups of mourners stood in disbelief in the neighborhood, Anil Rajbhar’s father stayed away.
His son had left for Nepal on January 13 without telling his family. While his father was busy in the fields, Anil quietly packed up and left with his friends, neighbors said.
His father is still incredulous at the news.
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