9 Years Later Kith & Kin of Victims of 2010 AI Express Crash at MIA Demanding Full Compensation
9 Years Later Kith & Kin of Victims of 2010 Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangaluru Crashed at Mangaluru Airport (now Mangaluru International Airport) Demanding Full Compensation of around Rs 90 lakhs (1.52 lakh SDR)- as per Montreal Convention & Carriages by Air Act, is in progress at the Supreme Court.
Mangaluru : In one of the country’s worst aviation disaster, an Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangaluru crashed while landing at the Mangalore Airport at 6:05 am on 22 May 2010. A Boeing 737-800, the aircraft, with 166 people on board, overshot the runway and crashed into the valley before bursting into flames. The crash killed 158 people and left eight survivors. Sources reveal that the pilot-in-command, Zlatko Glucia was an experienced pilot with 10,000 hours of flying experience and had 19 landings at the Mangalore Airport. Co-pilot S S Ahluwalia with 3000 hours of flying experience had as many as 66 landings at the same airport. According to sources, the pilots did not report any malfunction to the Airport Traffic Control (ATC), before landing at the Mangalore Airport. So what went wrong?
A total of 166 passengers including 135 adults, 19 children, four babies and six aircraft personnel were travelling by the ill-fated flight. The lucky eight passengers, including one woman, who miraculously survived the crash are: Mohammad Usman, Mohammad Umer Farooqi, Sabrina Haq, KP Mayankutty, G K Pradeep, Krishnan Kollikunnu, Abdulla PutturIsmail and Joel Prathap D’Souza. Some jumped out of windows as the plane came apart, others scrambled out of the wreckage. Burnt, they raced away from the inferno through the thickly-wooded ravine. Locals helped. They gave them phones, took them to hospital. Nine years later on 22 May 2018 it will bring back memories of this deadliest air crash in the history of Mangaluru Airport.
Since several bodies could not be identified as they were charred or mutilated beyond recognition had to be mass cremated near Thannirbhavi, a spot as you enter from Kulur Road to Thannirbhavi-where now Memorial Park has been built at a cost of nearly Rs 10 lakhs. The administration has set up the park at a site abutting the Phalguni river, where unidentified bodies of the crash have been buried. And tomorrow, 22 May 2019, DC Sasikanth Senthil along with other District Administration officials, will pay tributes to the air crash victims at the memorial park by placing wreaths, and showering flower petals on the memorial plaque.
In a press release submitted by ‘Mangalore Air Crash Victims Family Association’, it stated ” On 22.05.2010, Air India Express Boeing 737, flying from Dubai to Mangalore with 160 passengers and 8 crew members, had met with an accident at Bajpe Mangalore International Airport. In that ill fated accident 158 passengers had expired. At that time the family members of the deceased passengers under the leadership of Abdul Rahman Jeppu and Narayana Kalingo had formed “Mangalore Air Crash Victims Family Association”. This Association has so far helped the families in receiving their compensation payments etc. The Petition filed SLP(C) 9895-9898/2013 Abdul Salam V/s National Aviation Company of India with a prayer to consider ordering release of payment of minimum eligible compensation of around Rs. 90 lakh (1.52 lakh SDR)- as per Montreal Convention & Carriages by Air Act, is in progress at the Supreme Court. On 22 .05. 2019, 9 years will be completed, since the date of accident. On this occasion the family members of the deceased passengers pray Almighty for his blessing”.
Memorial Park near Thannirbhavi -Mangaluru
Speaking to Team Mangalorean over phone from a district in Kerala, Narayana Kalingo Nair ( whose brother Gangadhar Nair , aged 38 employed in Dubai died in the crash) said, “Even though my brother’s family had received a suitable amount, but the National Aviation Company of India has not given the full compensation as per the Act. In 2010, the payment of minimum eligible compensation of around Rs. 90 lakh (1.52 lakh SDR)- as per Montreal Convention & Carriages by Air Act, but now that the case is not fully settled, and the full compensation is not paid, we have demanded that the compensation amount be paid along with interest for so many years. The last Supreme Court hearing was on 25 February 2019, where I was present during the hearing, along with Mohammed Beary (President) and Abdul Razak Basrur (Treasurer) respectively, of Mangalore Air Crash Victims Family Association, and we put forth our demands on behalf of the crash victims. Mohammed Beary and Abdul Razak had also lost family/relatives in that crash. The next SC date is fixed in June 2019. Hope justice will be served on the next hearing date, since I have already made nine trips to Delhi for the Court hearing”.