Eight tourists including four minors from Kerala died in Nepal after they fell unconscious probably due to a gas leak from a heater in their room at a mountainous resort, police said.

According to reports, a group of 15 tourists from Kerala were on their way back home and stayed at Everest Panorama Resort in Daman of Makawanpur district in Nepal on Monday night when the incident took place.

All the eight were airlifted to HAMS Hospital in Kathmandu but were pronounced dead on arrival, superintendent of police Sushil Singh Rathaur said.

“All eight were airlifted and brought to the hospital in Kathmandu. A doctor from the Indian mission was also immediately sent to the concerned hospital to check on the welfare of patients and to provide necessary assistance,” sources at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu said.

Makwanpur police said the victims might have fallen unconscious due to asphyxiation.

The victims have been identified as Saranya Sasi, Sreebhadra Praveen, Praveen Krishnan Nair, Abhinav Saranya Nair, Aarcha Praveen, Ranjith Kumar Adatholath Punathil, Indu Lakshmi Peethambaran Ragalatha and Vyshnav Ranjith.

The deceased including two couples and four children were part of a group of 15 people, who were travelling from Kerala to Pokhara, a popular mountainous tourist destination.

A media report quoted the manager at the resort as saying that the guests stayed in a room and turned on a gas heater to keep themselves warm.

Although they had booked a total of four rooms, eight of them stayed in a room and the rest were in another room, the manager said.

He added that all the windows and the door of the room were bolted from inside.

The Indian mission has assured all necessary assistance to the family members of the victims.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed deep grief at the death of eight Malayali tourists in Nepal.

In a statement issued, the Kerala CM said the officials of the department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) have got in touch with the Indian embassy in Nepal to discuss steps to bring back their dead bodies to the state.

After conducting the post-mortem, the bodies are expected to be brought to Kerala by Wednesday.

Chief minister Vijayan said his government will do whatever is required to bring back their mortal remains at the earliest.

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