A schoolteacher from Howrah and six family members on holiday in Nepal died on Tuesday night after their jeep skidded and plunged 330 feet down into a river.
Vinay Kumar Tiwari, 58, a teacher at Shree Jain Vidyalaya for Boys, and 10 others were travelling by a jeep from Pokhara to Kathmandu when the accident occurred around 11pm.
The vehicle fell into Marsyangdi river near Chunpahara cliff, known for adventure sports like rock climbing and a vantage view of Annapurna and Manaslu Himal on a clear day.
Vinay, wife Kamalavati, 56, daughters Neelam Tripathi, 38, Poonam Tripathi, 35, Neelam’s daughter Neha, 20, and son Hemant, 15, and Poonam’s daughter Sreyasi, 5, died while three persons — Vinay’s sons-in-law Ravi Tripathi, 48, and Satyendra Dubey, 45 and Poonam’s 10-year-old son Honey were injured.
The injured have been admitted to Laxmi Hospital in Dumre, Udayapur district, where their condition is stated to be stable.
The bodies have been kept at the same hospital for post-mortem.
“The Nepal police alerted Lalbazar on Tuesday night and they in turn contacted Shibpur police station. My cousins received the news from the cops around 2.30am,” said Sandip Shukla, Vinay’s nephew.
Some members of the family in Howrah spoke to Ravi over the phone around 3pm on Wednesday. “Ravi told us that he had requested the Indian embassy in Kathmandu to help get the post-mortem done quickly,” Sandip said.
Vinay and team had boarded the Mithila Express on December 25 and were scheduled to return to Calcutta on January 2.
“My uncle loved to travel and every year he would plan a trip with his daughters and sons-in-law,” Sandip said. This was their first time in Nepal.
Colleagues said Vinay would take interest in the “all-round development of students and guide them in English drama and recitation”.
Vinay’s daughter Neelam, a resident of the same housing complex on Foreshore Road as her parents, was a teacher of Hindi at Shree Jain Vidyalaya for Girls. Poonam, a resident of GT Road, also taught Hindi at Gems Akademia International School near Thakurpukur.
Neelam’s daughter Neha is a Part I student and son Hemant a student of Don Bosco, Liluah. Poonam’s colleague described her as a “very vibrant person who had a good rapport with other teachers and students”.
Central Howrah MLA and minister Arup Ray visited the family’s house on Wednesday morning to offer condolences. “Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has sent me and we’ll see that the family gets all kind of support,” he said.
Vinay’s son Navneet, 43, left for Kathmandu along with some family members on Wednesday morning.
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