Finsbury Park girlfriend of man killed in plane crash highlights Nepal’s poor air safety record
PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 June 2013 | UPDATED: 08:53 12 September 2017
A civil servant who lost her university sweetheart in a plane crash in Nepal is campaigning to raise awareness of the country’s poor air safety record.
The lawyer, 27, died last September after the light aircraft he was travelling in crashed on the way from Kathmandu Airport to Lukla, where he was planning to trek to Mt Everest base camp.
His girlfriend, also 27, of Alexandra Grove, Finsbury Park, said: “I’ve heard the air industry in Nepal is dangerous. I want to raise awareness about the safety record.
“It’s not been publicised – perhaps because not many accidents have involved British people.
“I obviously understand when you go to these type of countries there’s a risk. My aim is to ensure that people can make an educated decision.
“He just wanted an adventure – it’s one of a plethora of things he could have done.
“Had we both known what I know now, he wouldn’t have gone.”
The woman, who the Gazette has agreed not to name, has still not come to terms with the death of her boyfriend who she describes as the “love of my life”.
She said the couple, who met eight years ago during fresher’s fayre at Oxford University, were “made for each other”.
“We immediately started going out. We were pretty inseparable.
“We worked at Camp America after university.
“We went backpacking around the world together. We even worked together in an animal sanctuary. I grew up with him. We changed together. We kept getting closer.
“He made me a better person. He was my close friend.
“He was my soul-mate. I don’t know who I am without him. We had so many plans for the future. We wanted to get engaged this year and married next year.
“We’d even decided on what dogs we wanted. The only reason we didn’t get married was because we thought we had all the time in the world.”
She saw the site of the Sita Air crash in November.
“I needed to go there," she said. "He and I had been together for more than eight years and we had travelled the world together. This was his first and last trip without me. I felt I had to see what he’s seen.
“I went out there to the crash site and saw these planes. They look horrendous. While tourists are going, they will cut corners. They don’t have the safety regulations they have here.
“I get the feeling all the airlines are as bad as each other.
“He had booked through a proper British company and he trusted them to have done their research.
“Unless the Nepalese government does something about it, these accidents will keep happening.
“It’s not just the British victims – Nepalese pilots and air-hostesses and guides are put in danger on a daily basis.”
The families of the victims who died are still waiting to find out the cause of the accident. A report has yet to be published.
The man's heartbroken girlfriend added: “I just don’t want anyone else making a decision on inaccurate information and them having to lose their friends or family and go through what I’ve gone through, which is unimaginable.
“I’m not going to stop the hardcore people but maybe I can stop people like him going. Maybe the Nepalese authorities will do something about it.”
Describing her boyfriend, she said: “He was one in a zillion. He had a total zest for life.
“He made the most of every minute and he still managed to volunteer at a local primary school, do pro-bono work for somebody whose business was destroyed in the riots, help out in a homeless shelter and play rugby and football.
“He was too good to be true, but he was true.
“I’m waiting for him to come home. His toothbrush is still in the bathroom. It feels like he’s still coming home. I can’t allow myself to think he’s not, as it’s too unbearable.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.