By: Rajini KG
January 18 2023
An image of a passenger plane crash in Kathmandu, Nepal from 2018 has been falsely linked to the 2023 Yeti airline crash in Pokhara.
Following the Yeti Air crash in Nepal on January 15, 2022, many images and videos claiming to be related to the Yeti aircraft crash went viral on social media. One such image was posted by a Twitter user D® Phil on January 16, 2023. It was captioned, "Unfortunate ! A 72-seater Yeti airlines ATR72 aircraft crashed at Pokhara Intl. Airport (between old domestic AP and Intl. AP) in Nepal. Rescue operations are underway and the airport is closed for the time being. A total of 68 passengers and four crew members were on board (sic)." In the image, a crowd of people and rescue officers are seen standing around the wreckage of a crashed plane.
However, the image is of a Bangladesh aircraft that crashed in March 2018 and is not of the 2023 crash.
The image shows houses close to the crash site. However, the Yeti aircraft crashed in a mountainous region with no such buildings. Additionally, the Yeti Airlines plane was green and white, while the aircraft seen in the claim has a different color scheme. These elements indicate that the photograph is not from the recent crash in Pokhara.
Through a reverse image search, we found that the image in the tweet dates back to March 2018. The Indian Express published the photograph in an article on March 12, 2018, with the caption, "Nepalese rescuers stand near a passenger plane from Bangladesh that crashed at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, March 12, 2018." The article states that on March 12, 2018, a Bangladeshi plane carrying 67 passengers and four crew members crashed while attempting to land in Kathmandu. At least 50 people were killed.
CNN also published this image in its report on the incident on March 12, 2018. The general manager of Tribhuvan Airport, Raj Kumar Chhetri, told CNN that though the plane received authorization to land from the southern side of the runway, it landed from the northern side. In the report, authorities say that they are uncertain why the plane did not land on the southern side of the runway. This confirms that the image is from the 2018 crash, not from the 2023 Pokhara crash.
An image from an aircraft crash that occurred in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2018 was misrepresented as the wreckage of the Yeti Airlines aircraft that crashed in Pokhara in January 2023. Therefore, we are marking this claim as false.