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Death of tourists: Kerala CM seeks compensation from Nepal

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday requested the Centre to persuade Nepal to compensate the kin of eight Keralites who died due to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning from a malfunctioning heater in a hotel room at Kathmandu last week.

In a letter to Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar, Mr. Vijayan said prima facie evidence suggested that negligence on the part of service providers and failure of the Nepal government’s regulatory mechanisms had caused the untimely deaths.

Mr. Vijayan hoped the Centre would convince Nepal to investigate the tragedy so that the shocked and traumatised families of the victims would get closure.

Earlier, Mr. Vijayan visited the house of Praveen, 39, at Chenkottukonam here. Praveen, his wife Saranya, 34, and their children Sreebhadra, 9, Aarcha, 8, and Abhinav, 7, died in their sleep in the hotel room.

Mr. Vijayan spent almost an hour at the house consoling Praveen’s father Krishnan Nair and mother Prasanna. Thiruvananthapuram Mayor K. Sreekumar accompanied Mr. Vijayan. He also paid homage at the spot where the family members were interred.

Praveen’s friend Renjith Kumar, 39, who hailed from Kunnamangalam in Kozhikode, his wife Indu, 34, and their two-year-old son Vaishnav also died in the “accidental carbon monoxide” poisoning.

By some accounts, the two families had huddled together for warmth in Renjith’s room. They were part of a 15-member group who were in Nepal for on a pleasure trip.

Renjith’s son escaped death by sleeping in another room occupied by the group. Praveen and his family had moved into Renjith’s room after their heater failed and children complained of extreme cold.

The State government has sought copies of the post-mortem reports finalised by forensic doctors at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu. It has also urged the Centre to request copies of the scene reports filed by the Nepal police.

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