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Woman paraglides to death in Himachal!

In a devastating turn of events, a paragliding adventure in Himachal Pradesh took a tragic turn yesterday. The incident has sent shockwaves through the region, prompting immediate action as 26-year-old tourist Navya from Telangana met a tragic end in a paragliding accident on Sunday in Himachal’s Kullu district.

The Fatal Flight
As news of the mishap reverberates through the country, The Head Constable Tilak Raj from Patlikuhal Police Station unfolds the case while speaking with Truetolife on the morning of February 12,“The incident recorded under File 15/24 occurred on 11/2/2024 in Dhobi village, Kullu. The incident was attributed to the pilot’s negligence prior to the adventure flight.”
The officer further reported the main cause of the crash: “The safety belts were improperly fastened.”

Pilot in Custody
Swift action followed the tragedy as the authorities scrutinized the surrounding circumstances; correspondingly, the site and equipment were approved, the pilot was registered, and there were no weather-related issues.
According to the officer’s account, “the arrest extended to both the pilot, Rahul Singh, hailing from Kandga, Himachal Pradesh, and the owner of the company under the IPC sections 336 (act endangering the personal safety of others) and 304 A (causing death by negligence).”
Until the subsequent note, paragliding activities have been suspended in the area.

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Impact on Local Tourism
As word about the incident spreads across the region, the local tourism industry faces an uncertain future. The repercussions will be unfavorable, as noted by the officer, “The accident was witnessed by the victim’s husband, her colleagues, and other local tourists.”.
Dobhi is one of the popular paragliding spots in Kullu district and has witnessed a number of crashes and deaths.
December 24, 2022, witnessed the tragic demise of 30-year-old tourist Suraj Shah from Maharashtra, who faced a similar fate. His harness malfunctioned mid-air shortly after initiating a tandem flight near Dobhi. Earlier, on June 15, 2022, another unfortunate incident occurred when Aditya Sharma, a 20-year-old resident of Ambala, and his pilot, Krishan Gopal, 24, from the local area, lost their lives in a paragliding crash near the take-off site in Dobhi.

Safety Concerns
Exploring broader concerns surrounding safety measures in adventure tourism, advisories to the local public and tourists by Head Constable Tilak Raj through Truetolife,
“1. Mandatory Safety Briefings: Ensuring that adventure enthusiasts receive comprehensive safety briefings before engaging in any activities.”
He continues,
“2. Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections of adventure sites; never occupy any unknown adventure rides.”

  1. Equipment Checks: Implement strict regulations requiring thorough checks of all equipment.
  2. Certified Instructors: Mandate the use of certified and experienced instructors to guide adventure activities, minimizing the likelihood of accidents due to a lack of expertise.
  3. Visitor Education Programs: Establish educational programs for both locals and tourists, raising awareness about the importance of adhering to safety guidelines during adventure sports
  4. Emergency Response Plans: Develop and communicate clear emergency response plans to swiftly address any accidents, ensuring timely medical assistance and evacuation procedures.
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Article by Sanjana Shelar from Mumbai for TrueToLife.

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