A plane ride that was supposed to take just half an hour ended in tragedy when its descent into a tourist destination resulted in a fiery crash. As of this report, 68 deaths were confirmed and four people aboard the flight were still missing.
The flight departed from Kathmandu and the crash occurred near the town of Pokhara, both in Nepal.
Footage captured both from the plane and on the ground in its final moments reveal a horrifying turn and dive, perhaps indicating loss of air speed prior to reaching the runway.
In the first video, a smiling passenger is seen filming both the exterior and interior of the cabin. The video instantly cuts away as the plane is jolted and rocked by the intense blaze.
— A H M E D (@AhmedViews_) January 15, 2023
In the second video, captured from the ground, the plane is clearly seen taking a sharp dive to the left and plunging into the surround area.
Horrifying last moments of an ATR plane crash from Nepal in Pokhara that was bound for Kathmandu. All 72 people on board are dead. pic.twitter.com/4JZIvnThPQ
— Wajahat Kazmi (@KazmiWajahat) January 15, 2023
According to officials, the aircraft involved was an ATR 72-500. According to Wikipedia, the ATR is a “twin-engine turboprop, short-haul regional airliner developed and produced in France and Italy.” It was first deployed for commercial use in the late 1980s. It is unclear how old the jet that crashed was.
The company released a brief statement upon hearing one of its jets was involved in a fatal accident.
“Our first thoughts are with all the individuals affected by this,” the company said in a statement. “The ATR specialists are fully engaged to support both the investigation and the customer.”
Nepal’s Prime Minister also shared remarks.
“The incident was tragic,” Pushpa Kamal Dahal said. “The full force of the Nepali army, police has been deployed for rescue.”
USA Today, via MSN, reported that many of the bodies were “burned beyond recognition” and that most of the aircraft had been “gutted” by the flames. It is likely the four missing persons were consumed by the wreck and resulting fire.
Brig. Gen. Krishna Prasad Bhandari, Nepal Army’s spokesperson, told China’s state-run Xinhua news agency that many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition and that 80% of the plane had been gutted by fire. The search for the four missing people will continue Monday, he said.
Prem Nath Thakur, general manager of the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, said the plane had been granted landing clearance. The weather was “very good” in Pokhara, Thakur said, adding that the pilots did not report technical problems.
Hundreds of people gathered at the site soon after the crash of the twin-engine plane. Sixty-eight passengers and a crew of four were aboard the plane, the agency said.
USA Today also reported that this is the second notable crash in the last decade involving the aircraft. It wrote:
In July 2014, a TransAsia ATR 72-500 flight crashed while trying to land on the scenic Penghu archipelago between Taiwan and China, killing 48 people onboard. An ATR 72-600 operated by the same Taiwanese airline crashed shortly after takeoff in Taipei in February 2015 after one of its engines failed and the second was shut down, apparently by mistake.
Featured image: Screen shot from embedded Twitter video.
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