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NRI Among Two Foreigners Dead After Paragliding Crash in Himachal

The accidents have cast a shadow on the Paragliding Pre World Cup compelling the Kangra district administration to impose a ban on ‘free flying’ till the security of flyers is ensured.

Ramlal Kondal | News18

Updated:October 26, 2018, 10:52 PM IST
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Chandigarh: Two paragliders died in a crash in two separate incidents while three others sustained serious injuries in just a week in Himachal Pradesh’s Bir Billing region.

These paragliders were ‘free flyers’ who had gathered at Bir to participate in the Paragliding Pre World Cup scheduled from October 27.

Kok Choonk Na, a 53-year-old former commando in the Singapore Army and Sanjay Kumar Ramdas Devarkonda, an NRI from Australia were found dead in the mountains after they crash landed on the mountains due to strong winds.

Kok Choonk had taken-off from on Monday and his body was found in the hills of Utrala region on Tuesday.

Devarkonda had gone missing after taking off from Bir site. After six hours of search, his body was recovered from Duggli region in Mandi district on Wednesday.

In another incident, two paragliders from Russia and Latvia suffered injuries in Mandi after a crash, but were rescued by the locals.

A Spanish paraglider Jos Lewis was also rescued from the mountains in Bandla hills near Palampur on Tuesday after he had gone missing for around six days. The local administration had spotted him a day prior to his rescue and had air-dropped food and blankets for him.

Around 170 pilots, including 24 female pilots, from 20 countries are in Bir Billing to take part in the three-day event, which is being organised by the Special Area Development Authority (SADA).



The accidents have cast a shadow on the Paragliding Pre World Cup compelling the Kangra district administration to impose a ban on ‘free flying’ till the security of flyers is ensured.

Bir Billing is an internationally recognised site for paragliding and features among top 10 paragliding sites in the world.​
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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