A cell phone video captured by a passenger on a Yeti Airlines planeappears to show the harrowing final moments of the flight.
Indian national Sonu Jaiswal, who was traveling with three friends, appeared happy and calm as he trained his phone camera out the plane window and around the cabin. But after a sudden jolt, the camera setting falters. Within seconds smoke obscures the view and there is a sense of chaos as people scream and the screen fills with flames. It seems to confirm that there was no indication of a warning prior to the crash.
Indian police have confirmed the identities of the passengers featured in the video, but the authenticity of the full video and everything it shows remained unclear on Monday.
Yeti Airlines ATR 72-500 turboprop plane was flying from India to Nepal when it suddenly crashed on approach to a newly opened airport in the city of Pokhara. All 72 people on board the plane are believed to have been killed.
Yeti Airlines confirmed this— the so-called black boxes — were found on Monday, a day after the plane crashed, which could help pinpoint a cause of the crash.
Dhirendra Pratap Singh, an inspector at Bersar Police Station in India, the city where the four Indian victims of the crash lived, told CBS News’ Arshad Zargar he met with the four men’s families and confirmed their identities using the video.
However, it remained unclear how the video, which Singh said was shot by Jaiswal, made it onto social media on Monday, where it quickly went viral. There were reports that it was either live streamed on Facebook or found on a phone that somehow survived the crash.
Singh was unable to explain that part of the story to CBS News and said he couldn’t tell if the video had been altered in any way.
In the first part of the video, Jaiswal captured images of the plane making what appeared to be a routine descent, with recognizable Pokhara buildings and streets below.
A witness who recorded video of the plane descending from the ground said it looked like a normal landing until the plane suddenly made a sharp left turn.
“I saw that and I was shocked,” Diwas Bohora told The Associated Press. “I thought everything will be finished here today, if there’s a crash, I’ll be dead too.”
He said the ground shook violently and flames shot up from the scene not far from his location.
“When I saw that scene, I was scared,” he said.