Coroner to write to travel body over fatal plane crash

Timothy Oakes
Timothy Oakes
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The family of a Lancashire worker killed in a foreign plane crash say an inquest has ‘not brought an end to the injustice.’

Tim Oakes, who worked at Lancashire County Council, was among the 19 people who died when a light aircraft crashed soon after take-off from Kathmandu in Nepal in September 2012.

Tim, 57, lived near Warrington and worked for Lancashire County Council’s education department as a secondary schools advisor.

An inquest held this week recorded an accidental death verdict for Tim and six other Britons killed.

The flight had just left Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu, en route for Lukla when it got into difficulties on Friday, September 28, 2012.

The coroner said that he would write to ABTA to recommend that travellers avoid travelling with the Nepalese airline involved. He believed the plane had been overloaded.

Tim’s wife Angela Gaunt said: “The inquest brings to an end the formal process of providing a verdict on the death of my husband, Tim. However it will not bring an end to the injustice and down-right carelessness of those responsible for this tragic event. It will also not take away the pain and sadness that still remains deep in our hearts.

“We have spent a long and emotional 18 months working with others to understand why the plane crashed and how such sloppy procedures are tolerated and even encouraged. For our own health and welfare, today must also be the day when we start to focus on ourselves and our own future.

“Finally, our thoughts today also go out to the families of the passengers on the missing Malaysia planel.”

Jim Morris, a former RAF pilot and partner in solicitor Irwin Mitchell’s Aviation Law team who represented three families at the inquest, said: “Our clients have suffered terribly following this tragedy and this inquest has been a very emotional experience for them. The basic facts speak for themselves.

“Prior to the Sita tragedy, from 2000 to 2012 there were 14 air crashes in Nepal that caused over 150 deaths and this tragedy was the sixth fatal plane crash in the country across a two-year period.”