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Qatar Airways urged to probe death of the passenger aboard

LONDON: Amid allegations that negligence on the part of the Qatar Airlines’ staffer led to the death of a Nepali passenger on board, various organizations have demanded a thorough probe into the tragedy and compensation to the family of the deceased.

SatjitBudha, 72, who was travelling from Kathmandu to the UK accompanied by his wife, to visit his son and daughter, had passed away on board during the flight from Doha to London on QR 001 on May 4 allegedly ‘due to the lack of adequate support and attention aboard’.

The Non-Resident Nepalese Association (NRN) UK chapter has called upon the Qatar Airways to investigate into the death of SatjitBudha, who died on board a Qatar Airways plane on the way from Doha to London earlier this month.

In a letter written to the London office of the Qatar Airways, the organization has asked the airlines to investigate into allegations that negligence on part of some of the staff of the Qatar Airways led to the tragic death of Budha.

“SatjitBudha (72), was travelling from Kathmandu to the UK accompanied by his wife, Mrs MankaliBudha, to visit the families of his son and daughter, who are now settled in the UK. Mr and Mrs Budha left Kathmandu on Thursday, 03 May 2012, to London via Doha on board QR 355. Unfortunately, Mr Budha passed away on board during the flight from Doha to London on QR 001 on 04 May 2012 due to the lack of adequate support and attention, according to the family members,” chairman of the NRN UK KulAcharyasaid in his letter.

Quoting family sources, Acharya said the deceased was suffering from asthma and high blood pressure and boarded QR 355 with an oxygen mask as recommended by a doctor in Kathmandu. “Mrs Budha said that she made an inquiry with the in-flight crew and was told that Mr Budha would need a medical certificate to be eligible for such a provision. When she presented the medical documents prescribed by a doctor in Kathmandu, she was told that they were invalid and off-loaded from the plane in Doha without their nominated guide/interpreter and against their will. They were later boarded in on the next flight, QR 001 to London from Doha but Mr Budha was not provided with the oxygen which he desperately needed, leading to the tragic incident,” Mr Acharya said.

“We are very disappointed to note that the Qatar Airways hasn’t contacted the family of the deceased so far to express condolence and explain what happened during the flight. We would, hence, like to request the Airways to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation to find out the circumstances leading to Mr Budha’s death and contact his family immediately to offer every possible help on humanitarian grounds,” Acharya said in his letter.

RaptiSamaj UK has also called upon the Nepali embassy in London to investigate into the incident and ensure the family is compensated by the airlines. The embassy officials said they have written the Foreign Ministry in Kathmandu to look into the matter.

A resident of Takasera VDC in Rukum district, late Budha was residing in Dang, Ghorahi with his eldest son and their family for the last few years.
Late Budha’s body is being kept at a mortuary in Uxbridge, London, at present and a funeral is scheduled to be held on Monday, 21st May, at the Aldershot Crematorium, according to family sources.

The family has also requested the Coroner –a British official-- to conduct an inquest to find out the causes of the death.

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