Nepal | July 24, 2019

THT 10 YEARS AGO: 12 Nepalis killed as ship sinks

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, July 1, 2009

As many as 12 Nepalis were killed when a UAE-owned vessel, Damas Victory, capsized and quickly sank in the Persian Gulf off the Qatari capital Doha yesterday. According to Madan Prasad Bhattarai, spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all the bodies were recovered today. Quoting Dr Surya Nath Mishra, Nepali ambassador to Qatar, Bhattarai said the deceased were identified as Sheshnath Yadav of Mahottari, Tilak Bahadur Khamcha of Palpa, Ganga Bahadur Gurung, Lilaram Paudel, Mehdi Hussein Miya, Abbas Ahmed Shahid, Man Singh Khatri, Rajib Kumar Dutta, Shankar Bista, Rishi Sharma Paudel, Jaya Bahadur Pun Magar and Ghanashyam Sarki. George Mathew, the ship’s general operations manager, told Qatar-based media that the captain had sought permission to enter the channel leading to Doha’s harbour but was told to remain at an outer anchorage because of the rough weather. “At that time, a huge swell and strong winds hit the vessel,” Mathew said. The vessel capsized and completely sank in three minutes, he added. Mathew said the ship was carrying nine crew, along with 24 employees (12 Nepalis, 11 Indians and one Bangladeshi) of the Dohabased HBK Power Cleaning and two Indian caterers working for a company hired by the HBK. Five crew members – three Indians and two Indonesians – were rescued. “The company will be holding a day of mourning tomorrow,” an HBK spokesperson told mediapersons in Doha. He said the ship was headed inland on a routine journey when the vessel sank, describing it as a natural calamity.

Swine flu fear sparks panic in Jhapa
Jhapa, July 1, 2009

The swine flu threat has spread panic among the locals of the district, after five of the seven persons coming from the US with the family of three that tested positive for the flu entered the district about a week ago without having their health checked. “Five of the seven persons, who had accompanied the three swine flu infected persons, have reportedly entered the district without any health check,” chief of District Public health Office, Jhapa, Nawaraj Subba said.

One of those who accompanied the infected persons has been living in Kathmandu, while the whereabouts of the other were yet to be ascertained. Latter’s passport was issued from Jhapa district.

“We have kept the names and addresses of the five persons secret. We have sent a team of health personnel to the area after getting information on them,” Subba added. He said one of them had been contacted and was being screened. “It is normal for the people to get panicked, after three travel companions of the five persons tested positive for swine flu. But I request all not to panic, as we have mobilised a team of health personnel to identify and screen them,” Subba added.

A version of this article appears in print on July 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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