8 tourists from Kerala found dead in Nepal hotel

They are believed to have died of asphyxiation from malfunctioning gas heater

A holiday in Nepal turned tragic for a group of friends from Kerala and their families, as eight of them, including four children, were found dead, presumably due to asphyxiation caused by a malfunctioning gas heater in their hotel room.

The deceased have been identified as Praveen Krishnan Nair (39), his wife Saranya (34), their children Sreebhadra (9), Aarcha (8) and Abhinav (7), Renjith Kumar (39), his wife Indu (34) and son Vaishnav (2). They were part of a group of 15 belonging to four families who had travelled to Nepal last week.

They were staying at a hotel in Daman, located in the Makwanpur district, on their way back from Pokhara to catch a flight back to India. They checked in at the hotel on Monday night. Two of the families shared one room, while the others stayed in the second room. The gas heaters were switched on due to the cold weather. The room was bolted from inside and there was hardly any ventilation.

On Tuesday morning, all the eight in the first room were found unconscious. They were airlifted to the HAMS hospital in Kathmandu, where they were pronounced dead on arrival. The deaths are presumed to have been due to carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by a gas leak in the heater.

According to Kannan, Praveen’s cousin, the trip was a sort of get-together for four college friends and their families. Praveen, Renjith Kumar, Jayakrishnan and Ramkumar were batch mates at the Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering, Pappanamcode, from where they passed out in 2004.

Praveen, hailing from Chenkottukonam on the outskirts of the city, was working at a private firm in Dubai. Saranya, his wife, had shifted back in Ernakulam a few years back to complete her M.Pharm, which she would have done in March.

Renjith Kumar, hailing from Kunnamangalam in Kozhikode district, was running an IT company, while his wife Indu was working at a co-operative bank. Their son Madhav, who was sleeping in the other room survived.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed deep grief at the deaths. In a statement, he said officials of the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs had got in touch with the Indian embassy in Nepal. After post-mortem, the bodies are expected to be brought here by Wednesday.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said the Embassy officials were at the hospital providing the necessary assistance. “Our thoughts are with the bereaved families,” he said.

(With inputs from New Delhi bureau)

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 8:59:49 PM |

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