Free flyer British paraglider found dead near Dharamshala


By : Arvind Sharma

A free flyer British paraglider Richard Samson (45) ,who was missing since Sunday while flying close to Dhauladhar snow ranges near Dharamshala was found dead after crashing into the Manadhar hills near Thathri village some 8 kilometers from Dharamshala town on Tuesday. The search and rescue operation was launched on Monday but his body was retrieved today.

Staying in a hotel in Bhagsunath near Mcleodganj in Dharamshala, Richard Samson had flown from Billing Valley on Sunday to Dharamshala and was scheduled to return on Monday.

“He went missing soon after the take-off. His friends filed a missing report with the local police while a rescue team from Bir-Billing area also arrived here. The search and rescue operation was launched yesterday but his body was retrieved today,” said Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP), Kangra, Mohit Chawla.

He told that postmortem of the body was conducted in Dharamshala hospital and family members of the deceased and British High Commission has been informed accordingly.

Meanwhile, sources told that though, the British National possessed a valid passport but had overstayed his visa.

“The matter is still under investigation and it is very early to say that he had overstayed the visa. We are searching for other documents in his place of stay at Bir area also,” told Mr. Chawla.

Earlier, two paraglider pilots have lost their lives while flying over Dhauladhar ranges. A Russian pilot, Alexey Ashurov had died in a crash landing on 23 October 2009. His body was retrieved by a local shepherd after nine months. Another pilot, Oel Kitchen from England, went missing after taking off from Bir in April 2002. He was last seen flying near clouds but his body was never found.

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