MAKAWANPUR, Jan 22: Eight Indian tourists including four minors died of suffocation at a hotel in Thaha Municipality-4, Makawanpur, on Tuesday.
The tourists were found unconscious in a room of Everest Panorama Resort at around 9.30 in the morning and were airlifted to the Kathmandu-based HAMS Hospital. The doctors at HAMS Hospital pronounced them dead at around noon.
The deceased have been identified as Praveen Krishnan Nair, Saranya Sasi, Sreebhadra Praveen, Aarcha Praveen, Abhinav Saranya Nair, Ranjith Kumar Adatholath Punathil, Indu Lakshmi, Peethambaran Ragalatha, and Vyshnav Ranjith, according to the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. All of them are residents of Kerela, India.
According to the Indian Embassy, the kin of the deceased are on the way to Kathmandu from India and the United Arab Emirates.
“The deceased were from two families,” said Superintendent of Police (SP) Sushil Singh Rathore, who is the chief of District Police Office, Makawanpur. The hotel staffers had informed the police about the incident.
The deceased – two couples and four children – were part of a group of 15 people traveling to Daman.
The other members of the group are safe.
After getting the information, a team of police had reached the resort, and airlifted the unconscious tourists to Kathmandu via a Kailash Air Helicopter.
“As the temperature was between three and six degrees [Celsius], they had asked for a big gas heater,” Rathore said, quoting a hotel staffer. As the hotel didn’t have a big heater, the staffers brought it from elsewhere. The heater was lit in the room at around 2 am.
The staffers lit the heater in room number 111. As the temperature was quite low, a family staying in room number 112 also went to room 111 to keep themselves warm, a source at the hotel said.
The Indian tourists had reached Daman from Pokhara late Monday evening.
Police suspect that the tourists might have died due to lack of ventilation as the doors and windows of the room were locked from inside. The exact cause of the death will be known only after postmortem examinations, police said.
Meanwhile, issuing a press statement, the Department of Tourism said that a five-member committee has been formed to investigate if the resort was following the standards set by the government. The department has asked the committee to submit the investigation report within the next 15 days.
Likewise, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of the Government of India, took to Twitter to express his condolences. He wrote, “Deeply distressed by the tragic news of the passing away of 8 Indian tourists in Nepal. Our Embassy @IndiaInNepal has been closely following the situation. Our thoughts are with the bereaved families.”