The Indian Under 14 Girls Soccer Team are reported to have become some of the victims of the Nepal earthquake disaster, which has claimed the lives of more than 1900 people.
The girls were still trapped in the Himalayan country at least until nightfall of Saturday. They had travelled to Nepal for a soccer tournament and had done well, having reached the semi-finals of the competitions. In the semi finals, they played the hosts, Nepal and were unfortunate to have lost the match.
The coach, Maymol Rocky, speaking to PTI news, said the girls were at the venue of the third place play offs against Iran when the earthquake started. “We were doing the practice just before the start of the third place play-off against Iran and then we saw the stadium shaking. There were hundreds of people there to watch the match. We ran to the middle of the pitch and remained there as we saw buildings collapse in the adjoining areas. It was a real scary moment for us,” she told the news agency.
She says, together with the Iranian girls, they travelled to the hotel where they were staying and decided to sleep in the open outside their hotel for fear of aftershocks if they slept in their rooms. “The place is still having aftershocks even now and the girls are scared to sleep in their rooms inside the hotel. We are staying outside the hotel but inside its compound in the open space tonight. The hotel staff is kind enough to provide us food and sleeping material. There is also no electricity outside. We know we will not be able to sleep tonight. The girls are really scared and want to go back home immediately,” she said, adding that their team manager had contacted the Indian embassy in Nepal, which had advised the team to travel to Kathmandu airport, where they would be airlifted out of Nepal by the military aeroplanes which had been sent by India.
This confirms what was tweeted by the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, that the girls would be brought home on priority. She quipped though, that they would need to be escorted to the airport as the airport had been closed, which would mean that they would have to wait till the morning to get to the airport. The girls were originally set to fly back to India on Sunday.