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Nepal Mountain Focus

‘I felt I was reborn’

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KATHMANDU, Nepal- The skies were clear, the flight was pleasant and I took photographs of the magnificent mountains all the way. I took the early morning flight to Jomsom from Pokhara as I was supposed to attend an official event there.

Seating on the rear-end of the aircraft, I thought everything was perfect until the plane touched the Jomsom airport runway. I felt a sudden unusual jolt; the plane hurtled at great speed. What followed was a series of jars and jolts.

Something was terribly wrong. Our plane had careened out of control and gone off the runway. I felt a sudden chill down my spine and I was scared stiff when the flight attendant screamed.

There was a loud thud after that. When the pilot applied the brakes and the plane didn’t stop I thought the plane will catch fire. The plane came to a halt on the banks of the Kaligandaki River with a bang and I jumped off the plane through the door. The plane had hit the banks of the Kali Gandaki river.

One moment I thought I was dying. Out of desperation, I tried to get out but failed to make it through the emergency exit. I then grabbed my bag, rushed ahead and jumped outside from the opening created by the crash impact.

Once outside, I heaved a great sigh of relief. I felt I was reborn. The passengers sitting in the front, as well as the crew members, were badly injured, as the front part of the aircraft hit the ground.

Govinda Pahadi of Parbat Sibalaya, who was onboard the aircraft that crashlanded on the banks of Kaligandaki River in Jomsong on Thursday recounts his terrible journey over telephone from a hospital in Pohara.

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