‘Settlements would destroy if…’: Yeti Airlines crash eyewitnesses


Eyewitnesses of the Yeti Airlines plane crash said that it was a close call for them as the airline crashed near their settlement and caused a bomb blast-like sound.

On Sunday, the plane took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am and crashed on the bank of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport in Pokhara, minutes before landing. At least 68 people have died and four people are still missing. There were 15 foreigners, including five Indian nationals on the plane.

“The aircraft was tilted at an unusual angle and moments later, I heard a bomb-like explosion,” Kalpana Sunar, who was washing clothes in the yard of her house, told Kathmandu Post newspaper. “Then I saw a plume of black smoke billowing from the Seti gorge.”

Another resident Geeta Sunar expressed that her family has a miraculous escape as one of the plane’s wings hit the ground about 12 metres from the house. “There was so much damage at the incident site, but since it happened away from the settlement, there were no casualties or any damage to the settlements,” she said

“Had the aircraft fallen just a bit closer to our home, the settlements would have been destroyed,” the newspaper reported.

Samir and Prajwal Pariyar, both 11 years old, initially thought that the aircraft was a toy, but later they got scared.

“Suddenly, there was darkness all around due to the smoke,” said Samir, adding, “It looked like the aircraft’s tyre would touch us as it fell.”

Another eyewitness, Bainsha Bahadur BK, said that if the aircraft had come straight, it would have crash landed into the settlements and caused more damage.

“Around seven or eight windows of the aircraft were still intact and we thought that the passengers might still be alive,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

“But the fire spread across the other half of the plane in an instant, as we watched in horror,” he added.

 

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