Builders' trip turns tragic

Eight Tiruchirappalli-based builders among 19 dead in Nepal air crash

A mountain flight to view Mt Everest at the conclusion of a business conference ended in a tragedy for a group of eight Tiruchirapalli-based builders when their plane crashed in Nepal yesterday.

The deceased -- all members of the Builders' Association of India -- were in New Delhi from September 21 for an industry conference and had planned in advance for the trip to Nepal.

The crash killed all 19 people on board, but the grief and anxiety of the victims' families was compounded after they were handed out wrong names of the Indian passengers. The Beech aircraft, belonging to Buddha Airlines, crashed in Kotdanda -- a forested area in Lalitpur district about 20 km from Kathmandu.

The Indian embassy in Kathmandu identified the eight people from Trichy as M  Maruthachalam, M Manimaran, A K Krisunan, V M Kankasabesan, T. Dhansekaran, Kattoor Mahalingam, Meenakshi Sundaram and K  Thyagarajan.
The other two Indians were identified as Pankaj Mehta and Chaya Mehta. At least one of them was working for the UN in Kathmandu.

The fresh identification was made on the basis of identity cards and other documents after Nepal's aviation authorities had earlier released a set of different names.

Though rescuers managed to bring out a lone survivor from the wreck site, the grievously injured 36-year-old Nepali man, identified as Nirajan Karmacharya, died while receiving medical treatment at Lalitpur's B&B Hospital.
The aircraft had flown the group to the Mt Everest region in northern Nepal and crashed while returning to the capital around 7.50 a.m., minutes after it went out of contact.

It was carrying 16 passengers -- 10 Indians, three Nepalis and three foreigners.

The three-member crew comprised Captain J B  Tamrakar, co-pilot Padma Adhikari and air-hostess Ashmita Adhikari.

Kin in Kathmandu
A small group from Tiruchirappali will travel to Nepal today to bring back the bodies of the Indians killed in the air crash.

Lending the bereaved families a helping hand was Rajya Sabha member N Siva, who got in touch with the Indian embassy in Nepal.

"We will take a flight to Delhi on Monday and then to Kathmandu. The Indian embassy officials have assured us necessary assistance," said Siva.

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