Singaporean paraglider who helped to rescue Sulawesi quake victims dies in India accident

Mr Ng was found dead on Tuesday, a day after he went missing. PHOTO: SHARON NG
In a photo taken during his trip in Bir Billing, Mr Ng poses for a selfie with local children in Bir Billing after completing a flight. PHOTO: SHARON NG
Mr Ng was found dead on Tuesday, a day after he went missing. PHOTO: SHARON NG
Paraglider Ng Kok Choong, 53, was found dead on Tuesday, a day after he went missing. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NG KOK CHOONG

A Singaporean died in a paragliding accident in India, less than a month after he survived a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province.

Mr Ng Kok Choong, 53, was found dead on Tuesday (Oct 23), a day after he went missing.

According to an obituary published on the Air Sports Federation of Singapore website, Mr Ng had taken off with his paragliding equipment at about 11am on Monday in Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh, when the weather turned for the worse. He did not return to his hotel after the flight.

The Indian authorities later found his body on Tuesday using a helicopter, the federation said.

The Air Sports Federation added: "He was selfless, brave and always moving for the next challenge... Coming from a commando background during his national service years, his always-can-do attitude was highly appreciated and admired by his mates.

"We pray for your soul, our dear friend. We will miss you. Rest in peace."

According to the Indian news site the Hindustan Times, an Indian official said that Mr Ng could have lost control due to strong winds and crash-landed on the other side of the mountains.

According to another Indian daily The Tribune, Mr Ng's body was spotted in the hills of the Utrala region in the Baijnath area.

The report added that Mr Ng was in Bir Billing to participate in the Paragliding World Cup, which will start on Saturday.

The local authorities are also working to rescue a Spanish paraglider, who has been missing since Sunday.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said the Singapore High Commission in New Delhi is in contact with the Indian authorities and is rendering consular assistance to Mr Ng's family.

"MFA extends our deepest condolences to the bereaved family for their loss following the unfortunate paragliding incident in India," the ministry added.

Mr Ng, a retired real estate agent, was in Palu in Indonesia for a paragliding competition last month, when a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck the area.

He and Belgian paraglider Francois de Neuville had just left a hotel to head to a festival on a nearby beach, when the earthquake struck. After the pair dashed back into the hotel to seek shelter, they found a young girl and her mother lying trapped under fallen rubble.

Mr Ng and the Belgian managed to rescue the girl. Mr Ng helped to pull the woman out of the rubble a few hours later.

He was among more than 60 foreigners evacuated by Indonesian military transport and returned to Singapore on Sept 30.

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