“I don't want to go any closer, I will get too emotional,” said Leena D'Souza who chose to stay a little distance away from the gathering of mourners at the public condolence meeting organised by the Diocese of Mangalore on Wednesday evening in memory of those who lost their lives in the May 22 air crash.

The meeting was held on the Milagres Church premises.

People from all walks of life came to mourn the death of 158 people, including nine children and four infants, in the crash.

“Some of my son's friends were on the flight. I have been to their homes, and knew them personally,” Ms. D'Souza said.

“My son's friends Shashikant Punja and Santhosh Rai and their families were on that flight. My daughter-in-law knows Joel D'Souza [one of the eight persons who survived in the crash]. They used to work together in Tannirbavi (at the G.M.R. power station). It is very sad,” she said.

“My son used to travel by that flight. This Saturday, however, he was at home (in Mangalore),” she said.

Latisha D'Souza had come all the way from Derebail for the meeting. Her nephew Merwyn D'Souza works in Dubai.

“There was a person called Merwyn D'Souza on that flight. We were all tensed until my nephew called us and told that he was safe at home (in Dubai),” she said.

The organisers of the condolence meeting praised the efforts of the people who helped in recovering the bodies of the victims with no thought to their own safety.

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