ZAKA looking for remains of US Jewish trekker in Nepal

Volunteers from ZAKA rescue and recovery organization have arrived in Nepal to assist in the recovery and identification of Irina Shekhets.

By JUDY SIEGEL
August 31, 2010 03:57
1 minute read.
ZAKA workers in Nepal, Thailand.

ZAKA in Thailand 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Volunteers from the ZAKA rescue and recovery organization have arrived in Nepal to assist in the recovery and identification of Irina Shekhets, the American Jewish tourist who was killed in a plane crash a week ago. The Brooklyn law school graduate was celebrating her 30th birthday by trekking in Nepal.

A few days after the accident, when it became clear that the Nepalese authorities were unable to recover and identify her badly charred remains, the Israel-based and UN-recognized organization decided to send out a team, headed by the unit commander Mati Goldstein and Dano Monkotovitch. Both have much experience in dealing with similar plane crashes and natural disasters, including plane crashes in Mexico, the US and, most recently, the earthquake in Haiti.

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The ZAKA team is working in full cooperation with the Chabad House in Katmandu, which is coordinating the recovery efforts with the local authorities, and the Foreign Ministry’s situation room, which assisted the team in obtaining the necessary visas.

Before the team left Israel, they managed to secure the Shekhets’s dental records from the US for identification purposes.

Israeli backpackers currently at the Katmandu Chabad House before Rosh Hashana will join the ZAKA volunteers in their search of the crash site.

The private Agni Air plane heading to the Mount Everest region crashed in heavy rain outside Nepal’s capital, killing all 14 people aboard, including four Americans, a Briton and a Japanese tourist.

The plane was headed to Lukla, a popular stop for trekkers and mountaineers, when cloud cover forced it to turn back toward the capital.

It went down near the village of Shikharpur, south of Katmandu.


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