KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Nepali travel agent who survived a plane crash earlier this week said passengers should not drink alcohol during flights and refrain from sleeping during landing and takeoff.
Dayaram Tamrakar said Friday from his hospital bed that he was able to get up from his seat, break down the emergency door and help other passengers because he was alert.
“I was able to grab on to my seat during the crash, quickly release seat belts, spring up from the seat and have the sense to force open the emergency door because I was alert,” Tamrakar said adding he was able to help other passengers before he heard there was fire and decided to jump off the plane.
He thinks that it was the quick thinking of him and other fellow passengers to swiftly break down the emergency exit that helped save so many lives.
Twenty-two people survived the crash Monday that killed 49.
“When someone said there was fire it was time to get off the plane. I jumped and looked back and saw the tail part was already on fire,” he said. “The army and emergency services were quick to respond; that probably also helped save so many people.”
Kathmandu’s international airport has an army camp to provide security and airport emergency services on standby.
Tamrakar said just before the landing, he realized the plane was flying too low and just before the plane slammed on the ground, people were screaming.
“People were calling for help and praying. I could hear some people saying Allah, Allah,” he said. “It was chaotic and confusing situation after the crash.”
“I am just thankful that I am alive, although some of my friends did not make it alive,” he said. He was traveling in a group of 14 travel operators in Nepal whom the airline had flown to Bangladesh for an award function.
Most of the survivors are still hospitalized. Authorities have said the survivors and the dead suffered severe burns that have made identifications difficult.