Karma Choechung

Karma Choechung

Yangyel Lhaden 

A popular Bhutanese actor Karma Choechung passed away yesterday morning at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital aged 37.  

The actor reportedly succumbed to severe head injuries – haemorrhage in the brain after falling off a galloping horse on December 5.  

The actor was in Sephu, Wangdue where he was shooting a movie Nyingtob, The Brave Heart when the accident occurred. 

Earlier it was reported that the actor succumbed to injuries he sustained while shooting the movie but later an investigation by  Film Association of Bhutan (FAB) revealed that he was not shooting for the movie when he fell.

The association’s officiating President, Nidup Dorji said, “Since he was not in Thimphu, the actor wanted to contribute a short clip for the National Day as a contribution to the virtual show.” 

Karma Choechung coordinated the shows of FAB in Samtse and Haa for the National Days in the past two years.

According to the investigation, there were two crew members, the actor, and the horse owner when the mishap occurred.  

The actor was holding a national flag in his right hand and holding the rein in his left hand. Eyewitnesses reported that he lost grip of the rein and then fell. He could only ride a few metres when he fell on his head and rolled over hitting his head on a stone.

Nidup Dorji said that the actor was used to riding horses and was not a first-timer. He said that the incident was a lesson for the association to ensure safety. 

Nidup Dorji said that there were no safety gears and the lead actor performed all the stunt as film industry was in the growing stage with a limited budget. “The need for safety gears did not occur to FAB as such accidents never happened.”

Meanwhile, social media is abuzz with pictures, condolences, and videos of the late actor.

One of them reads, “Love, forgive, and be grateful to each other while we breathe. It is such a heart-wrenching moment for us. Unbelievable!” 

Karma Choechung has worked in 29 films. His first movie was Lo Tay Hing Tay and he had starred in popular movies such as the wind of Karma, Singye and Scharchokpa Zamin.