Kin fly to Kathmandu to claim bodies of loved ones

Even as they reeled from the shock of losing their loved ones, relatives of five of the 13 Indian passengers who died in the Nepal plane crash had to perform the painful task of flying to Kathmandu yesterday, in order to claim the bodies of their relatives. A total of 13 passengers died in the air disaster that took place in the cliffs of Jomson on Monday morning. Of them, five lived in Mumbai. Their relatives are now in the process of completing the necessary formalities in Kathmandu, and will be returning by Thursday.

Untimely end: Relatives and well-wishers outside Shyam Niwas building on 5th Road in Khar, where child artist Taruni Sachdev lived with her parents. Pics/Sunil Tiwari

All the five deceased were part of the group that was on its way to the Muktinath temple, as part of a pilgrimage. The crash claimed the life of 14-year-old Taruni Sachdev, the critically acclaimed child artist who acted in the award-winning Amitabh Bachchan starrer Paa. Her mother Geeta Sachdev was also killed. “Taruni’s father Harish left for Kathmandu in the morning to claim the bodies of his daughter and wife. He is expected to return tomorrow afternoon,” said Mukesh Bajaj, Taruni’s uncle, yesterday.

“Geeta called us at around 9 am, just before boarding the flight. Shockingly, all this happened just a few minutes later,” said Bajaj. The Sachdevs, learnt about the demise of their loved ones from a news flash aired on a TV channel. At the Arora household on Peddar Road, friends and family members poured in to offer their condolences.

The Aroras owned a hardware factory in Nashik, and would often undertake pilgrimages. “The couple’s younger daughter Prerna had intended to join them for the trip, but ultimately decided against it,” said a source close to the family. “Menaka’s brothers Yash and Rajendra Mehra, and her daughter Prerna left for Kathmandu early in the morning today, to claim the bodies of their loved ones,” added the source.

“I spoke to the relatives after they reached Kathmandu, they have received the bodies. They are in the process of completing formalities, and are unsure if they will be able fly back on Wednesday or Thursday,” said a family friend of the Aroras. 

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