CLAIM: A video shows the Sunday crash of a passenger plane in Pokhara, Nepal, which killed all 72 aboard.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video was recorded in 2021 and was shot in Russia, not Nepal, according to Associated Press reporting.
THE FACTS: Yeti Airlines flight 691 crashed Sunday after a 27-minute trip from Kathmandu, just before landing in Nepal’s tourist city of Pokhara.
All 72 people aboard died, the AP reported.
In the ensuing days, social media users shared purported images and videos of smoke at the scene. But one video that spread widely in both English and Spanish showed a years-old military plane crash in Russia, not the recent passenger plane crash in Nepal.
The video showed a plane flying over a forested landscape, then catching fire and passing behind a white tower before plummeting into the trees below.
“Plane crash in Nepal, crazy how it’s hard to survive this,” reads one widely shared tweet with the video. “Pokhara plane crash,” reads text overlaid on the footage.
However, a reverse-image search of the footage reveals it shows the 2021 crash of a prototype military transport plane that was conducting a test flight outside Moscow. The plane crashed in a forested area as it was coming in for a landing at the Kubinka airfield 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Moscow, killing all three crew members on board, Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation told the Tass news agency.
An August 2021 AP report on that crash includes screenshots from the video and notes that it was provided by Dmitry Ovchinnikov.
The recent crash of the much-larger twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft in Nepal was the country’s deadliest air disaster in 30 years.
It’s still not clear what caused the crash, less than a minute’s flight from the airport in light wind and clear skies.
Aviation experts say it appears that the turboprop went into a stall at low altitude on approach to the airport, but it is not clear why.
Associated Press writer Ali Swenson in New York contributed to this report.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.


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