Eight Indians found unconscious in a Daman resort declared deadPolice suspect asphyxiation to be the cause of death, which was caused by the use of gas heaters used to keep the rooms warm.
Eight Indians, including four children, who were found unconscious at a resort in Makwanpur on Tuesday morning were declared dead after they were airlifted to Hams Hospital in Kathmandu.
The Indians were rescued from Everest Panorama Resort at Simbhanjyang, Daman, Thaha Municipality Ward No. 4 in Makwanpur, and flown to Hams Hospital in Kathmandu, where doctors pronounced them dead.
Fifteen Indian tourists had booked four cottages (no. 111, 112, 114 and 115) at the resort via an online hotel booking app. The tourists, who were from Kerala, had arrived at the resort on Monday night from Pokhara at around 9:30 pm in a reserved vehicle (BA3Ka 3788).
They had booked the two-bed cottages for one night, according to Shiva KC, the manager of Everest Panorama Resort. “They came to the restaurant after freshening up in their rooms and drank the liquor they had brought with them,” said KC. “They ordered snacks from the resort restaurant.”
After dinner at 10:30 pm, the guests of cottages no. 114 and 115 went to their rooms while the others stayed back at the restaurant.
“In spite of our objection, they were constantly requesting to take the heater they were using in the restaurant to their rooms,” said KC. “They took it at around 2 am from the restaurant.”
The restaurant and the cottages are about 200 metres apart.
The next morning eight of the guests were found unconscious in room no 111. The door and windows were shut down and the heater was still on when the resort staff reached the cottage in the morning, said KC.
“When one of our staff knocked on the door at 8 am to serve them tea, nobody answered,” KC said. “We called their friends staying in room no 114, they opened the door which was not locked from inside. We found all eight of them unconscious.”
Makwanpur police said they might have fallen unconscious due to asphyxiation.
The resort staff had called the police after they discovered the guests in the morning. A helicopter was flown in from Kathmandu to airlift them.
“The Indians have been identified as Prabin Krishna Nayar, 38, Sharanya Shashi, 35, Ranjit KP, 34, Indra Laxmi, 34, Shree Bhadra, 9, Archa Prabin, 7, Abi Nayar, 5 and Baishna Ranjit, 2,” said Narayan Prasad Bhattarai, the Chief District Officer of Makwanpur.
Superintendent Sushil Singh Rathaur of Makwanpur police said the investigation is underway. “The tragedy could have been avoided if they had kept at least a door or a window open after turning the gas on,” said Dr Kamal Dawadi of Hetauda hospital.
Sim Bhanjyang is at a distance of 55 km from Hetauda and 75 km from Kathmandu. Tourists visit the area at this time of the year to enjoy snowfall.
Most of the hotels in the area do not have air conditioning facility. “The tragedy happened because the resort, built about two decades ago, does not have air conditioners,” said Labsher Bista, the mayor of Thaha Municipality, who had reached the resort along with SP Sushil Singh Rathore, and chiefs of other security agencies as soon as they were informed. “The hotel entrepreneurs need to learn a lesson from this incident.”
Daman, which sits at an altitude of nearly 2,500 metres above sea level, is a popular tourist destination. The Nepal-India border town of Raxaul is 111 km south of Daman.
Subash Bidari contributed to the reporting.
The story has been updated.