Horsham firefighter flies to Nepal after earthquake disaster

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A Horsham firefighters has set off to Nepal as part of the UK’s International Search and Rescue response to help search for survivors after an earthquake struck the country over the weekend.

Owen Marfany has joined five others from the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Technical Rescue Unit who have flown to the country after a devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck on Saturday morning (April 25) killing more than 2,000 people.

A number of people are still believed to still be trapped and the Nepalese government have accepted an offer of assistance from the UK to support the international search and rescue effort.

The six West Sussex firefighters, who have responsibility for the UK’s logistics operation, are part of a UK team of 67 responders including search and rescue crews, four search dogs, a medical support team and hazardous materials specialists.

The team flew from Stansted Airport at 9.15pm last night and are scheduled to land in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu later today.

The crew has taken more than 11 tons of equipment with them, including search cameras, listening devices, breaking and breaching tools and jacking and lifting gear, all designed to locate and safely rescue trapped casualties.

The Technical Rescue Unit, which is based in Horley but whose members live across the county, is equipped to respond to disasters at home and abroad and has previously been deployed to earthquakes in Indonesia, Haiti, Japan and New Zealand.

The West Sussex firefighters on this deployment are: Owen Marfany (Horsham), Adrian Kirkpatrick (Crawley Down), Matt Simmons (Wittering), Antony Walker (Shoreham), Neil Graham (Shoreham) and Joe Sacco (Worthing).