Flying out of KTM last night just hours after an arriving plane crashed, killing all on board, ensured a strange feeling amongst those leaving the country. [UPDATE] Today’s accusations against Nepali police sound shockingly believable (see below).
22 Air Accidents in Nepal in Past 19 Years
Date / Type / Operator / Fatality
Sep 25, 2011 / Beechcraft 1900D / Buddha Air / 19
Dec 15, 2010 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 310 / Tara Air / 22
Aug 24, 2010 / Dornier 228-101 / Agni Air / 14
April 19, 2010 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / NAC / 0
Oct 8, 2008 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / Yeti Airlines / 18
July 3, 2006 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / Yeti Airlines / 0
June 21, 2006 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / Yeti Airlines / 9
June 30, 2005 / Dornier 228-201 / Gorkha Airlines / 0
May 25, 2004 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / Yeti Airlines / 3
Aug 22, 2002 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / Shangri-La Air / 18
July 17, 2002 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / Skyline Airways / 4
July 27, 2000 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / NAC / 25
Dec 25, 1999 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / Skyline Airways / 10
Sept 5, 1999 / British Aerospace BAe-748-501 / Necon Air / 15
Jan 18, 1999 / Cessna 208 Caravan I / Necon Air / 5
Aug 21, 1998 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / Lumbini Airways / 18
Nov 6, 1997 / Avro 748-106 Srs 1 A / Necon Air / 0
April 25, 1996 / British Aerospace BAe-748-352 / NAC / 0
Jan 17, 1995 / DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 / NAC / 2
Nov 8, 1993 / Harbin Yunshuji Y-12-II / Nepal Airways / 0
July 31, 1993 / Dornier 228-101 / Everest Air / 19
Sept 26, 1992 / Harbin Yunshuji Y-12-II / Nepal Airways / 0
The only survivor of the crash, who died later while undergoing treatment at the B & B Hospital, was Niranjan Karmacharya, 36, a resident of Kusunti in Lalipur. Local villagers tried to enquire about the family of Niranjan and other passengers, who were already dead. However, instead of telling the locals about his family, he just pleaded: “Take me to hospital. I want to live.”
Local villagers including Bijay brought down Niranjan from the tree. They managed a stretcher. When they were ready to take him to hospital, two policemen, who reached the accident site riding a motorcycle after about 10 minutes, stopped them. “They asked us if we could take responsibility if something goes wrong.”
The question raised by the policemen deterred the villagers. “I am feeling a terrible pain in my stomach,” Niranjan was crying, literally. “I can survive. Please, take me to hospital immediately.” After almost one and a half hours, the villagers decided to defy the policemen´s order. They started rushing him to the hospital.
Around 200 meters from the accident site, Bijay, accompanied by other villagers, in taking the injured to hospital, encountered with three police vans. They asked the police to provide one of the vans to take the injured to hospital. They were denied. “They said they are instructed to reach the accident site,” Bijay said. “So, we kept on walking. After walking for almost an hour, we reached Bisankhunarayan temple, some 800 meters from Kotdanda. An ambulance was there. We sent the injured by that ambulance.”
Sadly, by the time the ambulance reached the hospital, Niranjan was already dead. “Had he been brought on time to the hospital, chances of his survival would have been higher,” a doctor at B & B Hospital, requesting anonymity, told Republica. According to him, Niranjan died of multiple fractures and internal bleeding.
Locals also feel that they could have saved Niranjan had the police cooperated with them. “The police prevented us from taking him to hospital only on the grounds of legal procedures,” said an angry Bhawani Puri of Bisankhunarayan-2. “Legal procedures are not important than a human life. Police made a huge mistake by trying to follow unimportant procedures in such a critical condition.”
Niranjan´s wife Sharada and elder brother Dr Jagjan Karmacharya were also in the plane. They died on the spot. Dr Karmacharya, probably Nepal´s first vascular surgeon, now based in Florida, the US, had come to Nepal with his American colleague, Natalie Neilan, after attending a conference in Hong Kong. Dr Karmacharya, who holds a U.S. citizenship, has his wife and a son in the US. Niranjan has two sons, Aryan and Sourya.