BHARATPUR: Prashant Regmi was clicking pictures when the Trishuli River swept away his three sisters and two of their friends in front of his eyes. He survived since he was suffering from common cold and chose not to play in the river.
Four siblings — Prashant, Monika, Rajni and Liza — were in Bharatpur yesterday, while their parents had gone to Kathmandu to bring their daughters Rojita and Samikshya studying in Kathmandu. Rojita recently appeared for Chartered Accountancy last year exam and Samikshya had taken Grade XII examinations.
“We decided to go for a picnic to Kurintar. We called Rajni’s close friend Asmita Thapa. We also called Rajni’s friend Janak Rawat from Kathmandu. The couple staying at our house on rent asked us where we were heading to. We lied to them that we were going to a maternal uncle’s house. Five of us boarded a bus at 10:30 am from Pulchowk and left for Kurintar,” 14-year-old Prashant told THT.
“After Janak came from Kathmandu, we had our lunch at Riverside Spring Restaurant at around 1 pm and were surfing on our laptop in the park. Janak came up with the idea of clicking pictures on the banks of the Trishuli River. My sisters were reluctant to go, saying they would get late to return home. Nonetheless, we went to the river at around 4 pm. Since I was suffering from common cold, I did not step in the water.
I started clicking their photographs from a distance, while they played in the river.
“The water level was below their knees. While all five of them were playing in the river, the force of water pulled Monika. Asmita went to rescue her. We were scared after Asmita stepped into the water, as she also started sinking. Liza, Rajni and Janak tried to rescue her but after a while, I could only see four heads and Janak’s hand above water. In no time, all five were under the water.
“It happened so quickly. I was at a distance from them and could not go to the river to try and rescue them. I called my father through my sister’s cellphone. It took some time for me to come to grips with the tragedy that unfolded in front of my eyes,” recalled Prashant, the lone survivor in the group, holding back tears.
All five still missing
Gorkha: The whereabouts of five persons, including three sisters, who were swept away by the Trishuli River on Saturday are yet to be known. SSP Durga Kuwar at Disaster Management Centre said the day-long search operation yielded no result. According to him, four teams, each comprising 11 members, carried out the search at Dharapani, Thauwatar, Manakamana and Devghat areas. Suman Regmi, missing Regmi sisters’ uncle, said fishermen also helped in the search operation.
Of the missing Regmi sisters, Rajni, 22, was a health assistant at Bharatpur-based Narayani Community School, Monika, 20, a nurse at Olive Hospital in Bharatpur and Liza, 16, a ninth grader at Bharatpur-based Hidden Garden School. Janak and Asmita, both 21, were their friends.