Mortal remains of 8 Indian tourists flown back to Kerala from Nepal

PTI Kathmandu, Nepal Jan 23, 2020, 11.06 PM(IST)

File photo: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Photograph:( ANI )

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All formalities, including the postmortem, were completed on Wednesday night and the bodies were flown on two separate Air India flights from Kathmandu to New Delhi, according to sources at the Indian Embassy here.

The mortal remains of eight Indian tourists, including four minors who died of possible asphyxiation in their room at a mountainous resort in Nepal, were flown back to their hometowns in Kerala on Thursday, senior officials said.

All formalities, including the postmortem, were completed on Wednesday night and the bodies were flown on two separate Air India flights from Kathmandu to New Delhi, according to sources at the Indian Embassy here.

The mortal remains of Praveen Krishnan Nair, his wife Saranya Sasi and their three children will be taken to Thiruvananthapuram from Delhi, and of Ranjith Kumar Adatholath Punathil, his wife Indu Lakshmi Peethambaran Ragalatha and their son to Kozhikode from Delhi.

"This was a very tragic incident," a senior Indian Embassy official told PTI here.

The victims were among a group of 15 tourists from Kerala who had checked into a resort in Daman, a popular tourist spot in Makawanpur district, some 70-km south of Kathmandu.

The group, after travelling to Pokhara -- a popular mountainous tourist destination -- was on their way back home and stayed at Everest Panorama Resort in Daman on Monday night.

According to the manager at the resort, Shiva KC, the families arrived in a reserved vehicle and were supposed to stay in the resort for only one night.

Although they had booked a total of four rooms, eight of them stayed in a room and turned on a gas heater for warmth, the manager said, adding that all the windows and the door of the room were bolted from inside.

All eight of them were found unconscious the next day morning when hotel staff went to deliver morning bed coffee. Doctors declared them brought dead when they were rushed to a hospital in Kathmandu on a helicopter.

Their postmortem was conducted at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital here on Wednesday.

The tragedy occurred as the two-decade-old resort does not have air conditioners, said Labsher Bista, the mayor of Thaha Municipality in the district.

Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has condoled the death and said he was deeply shocked to learn about the incident. He offered heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, government and people of India.

Meanwhile, Nepal's Department of Tourism has formed a five-member committee to investigate whether there were any lapses in the safety of tourists by the resort administration. The committee is required to submit the report within 15 days.

An official said that out of the seven who survived, two stayed back to accompany the bodies while others left.

Nair and Ranjit, both IT professionals, were engineering college classmates and the tour was arranged after a get-together with old friends in Delhi, a family member said.

Nair, who hails from Chempazhanthi in Thiruvananthapuram, was an engineer in Dubai, while his wife, Saranya, staying in Kochi along with 3 children and was a nursing student.

Ranjit was working in an IT firm at Thiruvananthapuram, while his wife, Indu, was an accountant in a cooperative bank at Kozhikode, a family member said. Ranjit's elder son Madhav had a lucky escape as he was sleeping in another room.