THT 10 YEARS AGO: 27 killed, as many hurt in mishaps

Pyuthan, November 30, 2005

At least 27 people were killed and as many injured in three separate mishaps across the nation today. A report from Pyuthan said at least 17 passengers were killed when a bus carrying the pilgrims from Kathmandu to Pyuthan’s Sworgadwari, met with an accident at Pyuthan’s Baineta today. Seventeen other passengers were injured in the accident. Chief of the Chandi Prasad Battalion of the unified security forces, Hari Shrestha, said dead bodies of the 17 passengers have been recovered. The killed have not been identified yet. The bus with 39 passengers on board, including three bus staffers, skidded at least 200 meters off down the road at Baineta near the Sworgadwari Khal VDC, a staff of the Sworgadwari hermitage, Khem Raj Sharma, told this daily over phone.

According to Manoj Adhikari, an injured person from the Ring Road of Kathmandu, the bus fell down the road due to over-speeding when it lost control at the turning point. He was on a visit to the Sworgadwari with his parents, Madhav Raj, Alka Devi, wife Sirjana and five-year old daughter on the occasion of the alachaturdashi. His daughter is, however, safe. He said the condition of the others who were injured are not known yet. According to Sharma, the accident site is nearly eight km from the hermitage. Due to the remote location and the cold, relief operations will be difficult, he said.

Two RNA aircraft grounded

Kathmandu, November 30, 2005

With the United Kingdom’s continued embargo on military assistance to Nepal, two British manufactured Islander aircraft of the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) have been grounded at the RNA’s 11 brigade on the premises of the Tribhuvan International Airport. The British government stopped supplying Islander’s spareparts after February 1 royal takeover. “We are not able to fly the Islanders at the moment, as we don’t have spare parts needed to carry out regular maintenance,” a highly placed army source told The Himalayan Times today. The UK has till date gifted two Islander aircrafts and two Russian made MI 17 helicopters to be used for transportation purposes. The Islander aircraft delivered last year, according to an RNA officer, were being used for lifting troops, surveillance, and for reconnaissance purposes. “The Islanders can also be used for providing relief at the time of natural disasters, including forest fires, and for monitoring wildlife in national parks,” he said. Stating that the airplanes had increased RNA’s capacity, he argued: “When the Great Britain needed Nepali youth to fight for her, Nepal never thought who was in the British government. Now Nepal needs Britain’s support,we are not even delivered spareparts of the airplanes, which we were using to carry our troops.”