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Praveen Krishnan Nair and his family. The UAE-based Nair family was in Nepal to celebrate the birthdays of their three children, all of who were born in January. They all died of asphyxiation, along with three others who were in the same hotel room. Image Credit: Supplied

The UAE-based Nair family were in Nepal to celebrate the birthdays of their three children, all of who were born in January. They all passed away from asphyxiation due to a gas leak from a heater.

The bodies of thirty-nine-year-old Praveen Krishnan Nair, wife Saranya, 34 years, and their three children Sreebhadra, 9 years, Aarcha, 8 years and Abhi, 7 years, were airlifted to a Kathmandu hospital earlier today. They were declared dead on arrival.

A close relative told Gulf News: “The family went to Nepal to celebrate their children’s birthdays. All their birthdays fall in January. Every year the family has a destination celebration for their children. They loved to travel and explore new places.”

The family was based in Dubai for more than 15 years. They were a part of a group of 15 from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala who had travelled to Nepal on holiday. They were traveling from Pokhara to take a flight back to India and had made a pit stop at a hotel in Daman in Nepal’s Makwanpur district.

Local reports say that according to the manager of the resort, the guests had booked four rooms but eight of them stayed in a room, while the remaining others in another room. The area is at an altitude of nearly 2500 metres above sea level, and they had switched on a gas heater as it was cold. According to the hotel manager, the room in which they were found unconscious was bolted from inside.

Nepal tragedy
The body of a child who is among the eight Indian tourists who died due to suspected suffocation is being carried inside an ambulance while being taken for postmortem in Kathmandu, Nepal January 21, 2020. Image Credit: REUTERS

Saranya’s father, Shashi Tharan, who was a regular visitor to Dubai, to meet his grandchildren, told Gulf News: “All three of my grandchildren are gone.”

While Nair worked with a Dubai-based company, Saranya was a homemaker. She returned to Kochi a few years ago to complete her studies in M.Pharm (Masters in Pharmaceuticals), where she stayed with her children. According to a close relative, Saranya was very focused on raising her children well. Called by her nickname Sandhya, she would be the first to reach family celebrations and events when she was in Dubai.

The Nepal police were alerted after the rest of the group staying in another room went to check on them.

Praveen's friend Renjith Kumar TB, 39 who hails from Kozhikode, his wife Indu Renjith, 34 and their son Vaishnav Renjith, 2 were also sleeping in the same room, according to a press release issued by the District Police Office, Makwanpur. All three of them died, too. The couple had two children, their son Madhav was reportedly sleeping in a different room and he survived.