Never would the eight builders who died in the air crash in Nepal on Sunday morning have realised that their short sight-seeing trip would plunge their family in perennial grief.
Their happiness over preponement of their trip by a day was short-lived. According to sources in Builders’ Association of India, Tiruchi Centre, the victims had booked for the sight-seeing trip of Mt. Everest on Monday, but were accommodated in today’s flight since a family of eight had cancelled its booking in the eleventh hour.
Those killed were G. Thiagarajan, Meenakshisundaram, Kattur Mahalingam, Dhanasekaran, M.V.Marudachalam, A.K. Krishnan, V.M.Kanaka Sabesan, and M. Manimaran. Mr. Manimaran had assumed charge as the BAI Tiruchi Centre Chairman earlier this year. The rest of them were General Council Members of the Tiruchi Centre of the BAI. They had gone along with four others: Pugazhendi, All India Vice-President; Gowthaman, Tirusankaran, and Saravanan, GC Members for the BAI’s national level general council meeting. The four returned after the meeting while the rest landed in Kathmandu on Saturday.
Shocked beyond words, family members of the victims hoped against hope that their dear ones would have survived the tragedy. For, initial reports said that nine or ten out of the nineteen persons on board could had died when the Beechcraft crashed into the Kathmandu valley. A sense of gloom set in after it became clear later in the day that none had survived the crash. Most of the victims were from the upscale Thillai Nagar in the city.
Though the district administration did not receive any official communication from the Central Government on the tragedy till evening, it sprung into action by immediately apprising the State machinery about the details of the builders in Tiruchi who had boarded the ill-fated flight. Details of the victims were provided by the few builders in the delegation who had returned after the All India General Council meeting of the Builders’Association of India (BAI).
District Collector Jayashree Muralidharan said that the appeal of the family members of the victims to secure the bodies at the earliest was communicated to the Government. One member each from the eight families left by flight in the evening from Tiruchi to Chennnai from where the State Government has made arrangements to take them to New Delhi.
Official sources said DNA matching will be carried out in the event of the immediate relatives facing difficulty in identifying the bodies.