Daily Dispatch

Child Bollywood star dies in plane crash

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LEADING Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan paid tribute yesterday to a child actress and onetime co-star who was among 15 people killed in a plane crash in Nepal.

Taruni Sachdev, 14, was travelling with her sister and mother on an Agni Air flight on Monday which plunged into a hillside after aborting a landing at the high-altitude airport of Jomsom.

All three of them were killed, along with 12 others. Six people made a miraculous escape, including two Danish travellers.

“Shocked and very saddened to hear about the Nepal plane crash. Lost one of my cutest costars. Little Taruni Sachdev from Paa. Speechless,” Bachchan wrote on Twitter, referring the 2009 hit film Paa.

Yesterday, a local newspaper reported that Sachdev, from Bollywood capital Mumbai, was a prominent child artist who had featured in nearly 50 advertisem­ents and films.

Among the survivors of Monday’s crash were two Indian girls aged six and nine as well as their father, but their mother was reported to have died.

“We are in a state of shock, and distraught that these two little girls will have a life without their mother,” K Srinivasan, uncle of the two girls, said. The family was part of a group of Indian pilgrims who were on their way to the holy

to shrine of Muktinath in the Himalayas.

Rajendra Singh Bhandari, a regional police spokesman, said the two Danes had been sent to the capital Kathmandu by ambulance for further treatment.

“All three Indian survivors are being treated in [nearby] Pokhara town. The doctors have said that they are out of danger,” Bhandari said.

Another survivor, a Nepali air hostess, was airlifted to Kathmandu on Monday.

The Nepal government has formed a fivemember commission to investigat­e the cause of the crash. The commission, headed by a former director of Nepal’s civil aviation authority, will submit its report in three months. — SAPA-AFP

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