Chenai, India. This week Fr. Siluvaimuth CMF along with his class-mates of Mar Gragorios College, Mugapper, Chennai went to Nepal for an educational tour as a part of their academic curriculum. There were 43 students, 2 faculty members and 2 guides in the team. On 22nd of October, early morning all of them traveled from Katmandu, the capital of Nepal to visit nearby places as per their schedule.
The group hired a local bus for travel in the locality. After four hours of journey from Katmandu they came across a small and unique hanging bridge over Trisuli River in the place called Fislink at Csitwan District. It seems the bridge was on normal condition and the local people were everyday utilizing it to cross the river on foot.
The bridge was approximately 100 feet length. While entire team was on walk in the centre of the bridge, the bridge got broken in two parts. And the entire team lost the balance and a lot of them fell into the river and the rests were hanging on the swinging bridge. With great difficulty and struggle most of them escaped. Fr. Siluvai and Fr. John Peter (Ex-Claretian and faculty of the college) are the ones who came out last as they gave priority for others to escape.
One of the girls of the team namely Florence Angel from Chennai city fell directly on a rock and lost her life then and there. Another girl from North East region, Anita Doss is found missing even after several hours of search by boats and helicopter troop. She has not been traced yet till evening 7 pm. As dark the search is given up and there is very little chance of getting her back. Fr. John peter taken the body of Florence for post mortem.
Fr. Siluvai is attending to the rest of the team. Many have suffered serious injurious and are admitted in two hospitals nearby and three are in critical condition. The entire team is in panic and emotionally hassled. The message had been already conveyed to the Indian Embassy and Tamil Nadu official through their college authorities. Fr. Siluvai CMF is constantly in contact with his community (Kavasam) and Provincial administration. He cries inconsolably seeking our prayers. They are supposed to return on October 24th and now they are in great difficulty.
As we celebrate novena towards our founder’s feast day Let us pray for the repose of Florence Angel’s soul, recovery mission 0f Anita Doss, for the injured students and the entire team to face this very critical and unexpected situation in the foreign land. We shall stand by the college administration in all the ways possible. This college had been of very friendly to us and has given always preference in admitting the Claretians and those recommended by us.
Reported by Fr. Jose G. Pitchai CMF