The ones that got away

Oversight, forgetfulness, damaged passport let them live

Vasanth, an A/C technician in Dubai was booked on the flight which crashed on Saturday, to attend his sister’s wedding scheduled for May 30 at Kasargod. Vasanth’s ticket was for May 22 but had an impression that he had booked the ticket for May 23. Accordingly, he had asked his parents to come to Mangalore airport on Sunday to receive him.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Vasanth’s sister Saritha said her brother had left for Dubai about an year ago to try his luck, and was returning home for the first time since then. According to Saritha, after seeing the news on TV, Vasanth had a looked at his ticket and was shocked, realising that he could have been on the ill-fated flight had he checked the ticket earlier because the ticket was booked for Saturday and not for Sunday.

Of late, Vasanth’s work load had doubled and he had become preoccupied which perhaps explained his faux pas with the ticket, but Saritha is delighted that her brother had been absent-minded.

“He had initially told me that his employers would not give him leave, but somehow managed to get 20 days off. I was unhappy that he will be here only for 20 days and would be arriving only a week before the wedding. I used to argue with about that. Now
Vasanth cannot attend the wedding because there are no tickets available, but I have no complaints,” says Saritha.  Steven Rego, a student in Mangalore had the impression that the ticket was for the next day. He was in Dubai on a vacation. Sanjeeva Babanna Hegde was to take the same flight, but took another flight instead, to Bangalore.

Theresiamma Philip, a Keralite settled in Dubai, has a tale of much better luck to tell. She was to visit her daughter Jensily Philip, a PG student at A B Shetty College of Dental Sciences. She missed the flight, thinking it was for afternoon, and morning and is still in Dubai, much to the joy of her daughter.  

A total of nine passengers - the others being Merwyn D’Souza, Mohammed Ashfaq, Husna Farheen, Loius Carlo Vincent Gerard, Steven Rego and Kunhikkannan Chandu have lived to tell the tale, because they missed the flight for various reasons including the damaged passport in one case.

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