Amitava Banerjee | 17 March 2017 | Darjeeling, West Bengal: As if lifted from an English ghost flick, where mysterious deaths take place, a Kurseong hotel was shut down on Friday after the death of a driver. If you are thinking what is so unearthly in a person's death, then this incident is the second that took place in 19 days after a Thai student breathed his last in a spooky manner in the same hotel.
Bikash Biswakarma, a driver accompanied by a tourist guide were putting up in Cochrane Place — a hotel in Kurseong. "They had received a group of tourists from Bagdogra Airport on Thursday and were driving them up to Darjeeling. The group halted at the Cochrane Place for the night. Bikash and the tour guide were staying in a room. On Friday morning, the tour guide had gone to the washroom and reportedly felt breathless. After him, Bikash too went to the washroom," stated Bhaskar Pradhan, Secretary of Upper Clubside Drivers' Association.
However, even after 20 minutes, when Bikash did not come out of the washroom and did not respond to calls, the door was forced open. "They found Bikash unconscious on the floor of the washroom. He was rushed to the Kurseong Sub-Divisional Hospital where he was declared brought dead," stated Pradhan.
Bikash's dead body has been sent for post-mortem to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital near Siliguri. Bikash in his early 30's was a resident of Kakjhora, Darjeeling. "We are investigating and the hotel has been shut down," stated a police official.
Incidentally, on March 8, a group from Thailand including three students were putting up at the same hotel. 15-year-old Koetsirikunwong of Soiprachautid, Bangkok was found unconscious on the floor of the washroom with the shower running and was declared "brought dead" at the Kurseong hospital.
Two of his friends, Archavapong Artaumbauy (14) and Pakin Tsantsirametkakul (14) were also found unconscious in an adjacent room. They, however, survived. The post-mortem report of Artaumbauy is still awaited.
"In the past one year, we have received five cases where tourists have been found unconscious in washrooms using LPG gas geysers with poor ventilations. If the LPG intoxication is at an early stage, the patient recovers, else its fatal," stated Dr. P Das, Director, Darjeeling and Dooars Medical Association. However, it could not be confirmed whether the hotel uses LPG geysers or not.