British embassy wall collapse victims’ kin seek compensationSeptember 19th, 2011 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS
Kathmandu, Sep 19 (IANS) Angry protesters sought compensation from the British Embassy in Kathmandu Monday after the perimeter wall of the embassy collapsed during the previous night’s earthquake, killing three people, including a girl.
Locals and relatives of the three killed as well as people from Gorkha district in western Nepal, the home of two of them, assembled before the British Embassy in the Lainchaur area of the capital Monday, demanding compensation.
The anger was fuelled after the guards at the embassy prevented locals from conducting rescue operations on their own immediately after the nearly nine-foot wall collapsed Sunday and the search and rescue began in full swing only after the arrival of the army and armed police force personnel.
The British Embassy issued a statement, saying it regretted the deaths. It said the British Ambassador, John Tucknott, met with relatives of the victims Monday morning.
Sources said the embassy had agreed to pay up to 50,000 pounds as compensation for all the three victims but had said the negotiations should be made through the Nepal government.
Sajan Shrestha, a 38-year-old security guard employed by the Danish government’s aid agency Danida, was riding past the embassy on his two-wheeler with his teenaged daughter Anisha when the concrete wall fell on them Sunday evening, injuring both severely.
A passerby, Bir Bahadur Majhi, in his late teens, was also fatally injured.
Army and armed police personnel assisted by locals dug out the three from under the debris and rushed them to the Manmohan Memorial Hospital where all three succumbed to their injuries.
Four more people in a passing car were also injured and were receiving medical treatment.
The wall collapse occurred close on the heels of reports in the media about the British government’s foreign aid wing, the International Development Department, having spent 32,000 pounds to safeguard the residence of its chief in Nepal against earthquakes and on renovations.
Nepal, along with India and Tibet, was hit by an earthquake Sunday measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale with its epicentre in northeastern India’s Sikkim state.
Nearly 50 people have perished so far in the three countries.
(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at email@example.com)
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