Sunday, May 29, 2022

Among Indian victims of Nepal air crash are separated couple headed to meet children

Mumbai: After a Tara Air flight carrying 19 passengers, including four Indians, from Nepal’s Pokhara to Jomsom in Mustang district crashed near the Lete hill area on Sunday, details are emerging of the victims.

Senior inspector Uttam Sonawane of Kapurbawdi police in Thane said that two of the four Indian victims—Ashok Tripathy and Vaibhavi Bandekar—were separated and that their children had to spend 10 days with Tripathy as per court orders. They were headed to Muktidham in Nepal to meet their children when the air crash happened.

Bandekar, 51, worked at a private company in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex while her husband lived in Odisha. She had stayed in Borivali before moving to the Athena Apartment at Majiwada in Thane.

Suman Dahal of Kailash Vision Trek said, “This family had booked their trip through a company in Delhi, which in turn approached us. I met this family on May 27 and they were really excited about this tour to Muktidham. They travelled from Kathmandu to Pokhara and were on a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom.”

Tour manager Sagar Acharya told The Indian Express, “I met the family first when they came to Kathmandu on May 27. They were very excited and we all had dinner together. Later they also went to the Pashupatinath Temple and attended aarti. On May 28, they travelled from Kathmandu to Pokhara by road and I went by air. On Sunday, their flight was to depart at 6am from Pokhara and their takeoff was delayed because of bad weather. Around 9.45am, two aircraft of Summit Airways took off, followed by the Tara Air flight at 9.55 am. Before taking off, Ashok Tripathy had called me to say things were okay. Those two flights of Summit landed safely and then we heard the news that the Tara Air flight lost contact with the ATC. Since I know some helicopter companies, we sent a helicopter to the crash site.”

Acharya said the couple had kept some of their excess baggage in his room. “We only know that the flight has crashed and don’t know about the details of passengers and a massive search has been started for them,” he said.

29/05/22  Yogesh Naik, Pallavi Smart/Indian Express

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