He landed stricken flight in Kuala Lumpur on third attempt

Most of the 159 passengers onboard the Bangalore-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH 192, which turned back and made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur on Monday morning after developing a technical snag, felt they had been blessed with a second life after the four-hour ordeal.

The passengers arrived in Bangalore on Monday evening in a brand new B737-800. Relatives of most had turned up at Kempegowda International Airport to receive the passengers. Many broke down on being united with their families. Some did not want to recollect the ordeal while others were philosophical. “I felt that I came close to death. I made the most sincere prayers in my life,” said one of them.

Most passengers were all praise for Captain Nor Adam Azim. Some went to the extent of calling him ‘God-sent’.

Rajkumar, a businessman from Bangalore, was returning home from a business trip to China. He recalled that passengers heard a blast-like sound during takeoff. Soon, the captain announced that there was a technical snag and they would be making an emergency landing in KL. “After two unsuccessful attempts that left passengers fearing for their lives, the captain skilfully landed the flight. By then, we had spent four hours in the air,” he said.

Another passenger, Devadas, who was accompanied by wife Shashikala, said, “Before the third attempt, the situation was very tense as the captain had announced that we were running out of fuel and this would be the last attempt. When he successfully landed the plane, all the passengers erupted in joy and relief.”

Rajeev Kumar, a Bangalorean settled in Sydney, Australia, was travelling to India with his family. He said that passengers were worried as the incident came close on the heels of the mysterious disappearance of MH370 over the Indian Ocean. However, the fact that the flight had not lost contact with Air Traffic Control gave passengers the confidence that their situation was retrievable. He was all praise for the captain saying he “did an extremely professional job”. Rajeev said that all the passengers wanted to meet the captain, but were not allowed to due to security reasons.

The passengers were welcomed in KL by Hishammuddin Hussein, the acting Transport Minister of Malaysia, who reportedly apologised for the inconvenience caused. The passengers were accommodated in a hotel before being flown to Bangalore by a special flight.

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