An Australian was on board a Yeti Airlines plane that crashed in Nepal on Sunday, killing at least 68 people.
New vision has emerged of the moments before the plane crashed, showing the aircraft turning to its side in the air. Another unverified video shared live on social media appears to show the final moments inside the aircraft.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the plane with 72 people including four crew members and six children was flying from Kathmandu and crashed near its destination, Pokhara Airport, in the morning.
On board the ATR 72 twin-engine turboprop aircraft, there were one Australian, 53 Nepalese, five Indians, four Russians, two Korean, one Argentinian, one Irish and one French, the aviation authority reports on their Twitter page in a statement.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has confirmed an Australian was on board the Yeti Airlines flight.
"The Australian Embassy is urgently seeking to confirm the welfare of the Australian," a DFAT spokeswoman said.
The plane was 15 years old, according to flight tracking website FlightRadar24. It is currently unclear what caused the crash, which is being called Nepal's deadliest crash since 1992.
New footage from passenger on board Yeti Airlines flight
Since the tragedy, shocking footage has emerged from an Indian passenger who is believed to have started a Facebook Live, moments before the plane crashed.
The video, circulating online, shows the man, identified by Indian media as Sonu Jaiswal, smiling and showing his view from the window, when suddenly there's turbulence, screams and fire, then the screen goes blank. The family has since confirmed Mr Jaiswal's death.
According to Reuters, local resident Khum Bahadur Chhetri saw the plane descend into chaos from the roof of his house and go into the gorge of the Seti river.
"I saw the plane trembling, moving left and right, and then suddenly it nosedived and it went into the gorge," Mr Chhetri said to the publication.
(14〳1〳2023) A Yeti Airlines ATR-72 with 72 people on board has crashed in Pokhara, Nepal. This video appears to show the seconds before the crash; there is currently no word on whether anyone survived. 🃏 pic.twitter.com/6pJAgskC82
— Public Outsider (@publicoutsider) January 15, 2023
The plane is reported to have been snapped in half, with one part falling into the gorge and the other on the hillside.
Hundreds went to inspect the aftermath and look for survivors, including the Nepal Army, Nepal Police, and the Himalayan Rescue Association and firefighting services, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. It is currently unclear what has happened to the four unaccounted people on board.
After the crash, Prime Minister Dahal called an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss, and has since made Monday Nepal's national day of mourning, BBC reports. A government report detailing the circumstances of the crash is expected within 45 days.
Plane crashes common in Nepal
Unfortunately, plane incidents are common in Nepal, which is home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Everest - where sudden weather changes can make for hazardous conditions. Nearly 350 people have died since 2000 in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal.
According to Reuters, the European Union has also banned all Nepali flights from its airspace since 2013 due to safety concerns.
With Reuters and Associated Press
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