Saturday, 9/23, became the biggest shock for Nepalese people since last few years. Some people compared the incident as largest with the Palace Massacre on June 1, 2001. It also grieved the friendly nations. This incident was more devastating as it had more deaths and one third of them comprised the high profile foreigners.
Initially, the Shree Airlines helicopter went missing early Saturday morning with 24 passengers on board. It was more worrying when it could not be found for three days. The search operation was really a nightmare. However now, the chopper has been found and all 24 people onboard are confirmed dead. 9N-AHJ (MI-172) chopper was found in totally damaged condition two kilometers south west of Ghunsa, Taplejung district by a team of Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal, Monday afternoon.
Among dead include Minister of State for Forest and Soil Conservation of Nepal Gopal Rai and his wife, senior conservationists, government officers and two journalists.
Dead foreigners include Pauli Mustonnen, Charge de Affaires, Embassy of Finland (Finnish), Ms. Margaret Alexander, Dy. Director, USAID (Amercan) Dr. Jill Bowling, Conservation Director, WWF UK (Australian), Ms. Jennifer Headley, Coordinator, WWF UK (Canadian), Matthew Preece, Program Officer, WWF US (Amercian), Captain Klim Kim (Russian) and Saffron Vallery (Russian).
Other dead include Acting Secretary at the Ministry Dr. Damodar Parajuli, Dr. Harka Gurung, the veteran geographer and conservationist, Narayan Poudel, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Mr. Sharad Rai, Director General of Department of Forests, Dr. Bijnan Acharya, Program Dev. Specialist, USAID, Mingma Norbu Sherpa, Managing Director, EHEC, WWF US, Dr. Chandra Gurung, Country Representative, WWF Nepal, Dr. Tirtha Man Maskey, Co-Chair, AsRSG, Mrs. Yeshi Lama, WWF Nepal, Mr. Vijaya Shrestha, Central Committee Member, FNCCI, Dawa Tshering, Chairperson, KCAMC and crew Mingma Sherpa, Captain and Tandu Shrestha (Crew).
Two journalists have also lost their life. They are Hemraj Bhandari, reporter and Sunil Singh, Cameraperson of Nepal Television.
MP SHOT DEAD
The same morning, unidentified gunmen shot and killed MP and former minister Krishna Charan Shrestha in Siraha
Shrestha was elected to the House of Representatives on 1999 election from Siraha constituent\cy no. 3. from Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP). It is the second time the incumbent MP was killed by the assailants when the house session is undergoing. Earlier, MP Mirza Dil Sad Beg was killed in 1998.
This was the day when Nepal incurred an irreparable loss, giving people a shivering tragedy at the eve of Dashain. May departed souls rest in heaven.
Nation mourns death of dignitaries
27 September/ The nation observed a day of national mourning in memory of the 24 passengers aboard the ill-fated Shree airlines helicopterWednesday. The government has declared today a public holiday. National flags at all government offices, diplomatic missions abroad are flying at half-mast today.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Mission also remained closed today to join Nepal in the day of national mourning.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Wednesday said that the bodies of the 24 crash victims will probably be brought to the capital today.
King and the Queen also extend condolences
26 September/ King Gyanendra and Queen Komal have expressed their deep grief over the tragic death of the incident. In a statement issued by the royal press secretariat on Tuesday, the royal couple expressed their condolences over the sad demise of the Minister of State for Forest and Soil Conservation Mr Gopal Rai, his spouse, Charge d’Affaires of Finland Mr Pauli Mustonen, Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation Dr Damodar Prasad Parajuli, accompanying journalists, crew members and other eminent personalities from Nepal and abroad.
The royal couple have also exclaimed that it was a tragic accident and an irreparable loss to the nation. They have extended their heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved families and prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls.