Benur village at Perumbala near here is in deep distress, for two youths from there were among the passengers on board the Air India Express that crashed near the Mangalore airport on Saturday morning.

The sorrow of the village is representative of the mood in the entire district. A pall of grief hangs over the district as, according to unofficial reports, nearly 25 of the passengers in the crashed airplane are believed to be from Kasaragod.

The tragedy occurred at a most inopportune time for K. Abdulla and his wife, Ayisha, as they were making last-minute preparations for the wedding of their daughter, Raihana, on Sunday.

The household was in grief when the news of the plane crash reached the village. Their son, Anwar Sadique, was among those who died in the crash.

He was to reach here along with his friend, Abdul Hakeem, to attend his sister's wedding. Working in Dubai for the past three years, he had come to his house on leave for two weeks last month. He was a bachelor.

“His body has been identified and will be brought to Benur around 8 p.m.,” informed his cousin M. Anwar Sadique. He said that the burial would take place in the local khabarstan on Saturday night itself.

The nearby house of Abdul Hakeem wore a gloomy ambience. Father of two young children, Hafeeza and Haveeda, Hakeem had also been working in Dubai. His body, identified earlier, was brought to the village in the afternoon and was buried at around 6 p.m.

The loss of Siddique Sulaiman was a double tragedy for his family at Nellikunnu here. He had boarded the plane from Dubai to attend the funeral of his father who died on Friday. Sulaiman, working in a trading company in Dubai, was not there to attend the funeral that took place at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

His relatives said that Sulaiman called them on Friday to inform them that he would reach the house at 7 a.m. before the body was taken for the burial.

Among those who were believed to have lost their lives in the accident include Abdulla Muhammad, 60, who was returning home from Sharjah for medical treatment.

Kasaragod Samyukta Jamaat Committee secretary Thalankara Ibrahim Khaleel was also on board the plane, reports said.

Many relatives of the passengers from this district rushed to Mangalore immediately after the report of the plane crash came in.

Thousands of youths from the district are working in the Gulf countries. They largely prefer the Bajpe airport in Mangalore since it is closer than the Karipur airport in Kozhikode.

A control room opened at the Collectorate here informed that it was yet to have information about the accurate number of people from the district who died in the accident.

Many bodies, in charred condition, were yet to be identified, officials manning the control room said, adding that it was difficult for them to identify the addresses of those on board from the flight manifest. They also said that, according to unofficial reports, eight bodies of the passengers from this district were identified.

Meanwhile, the district administration opened a help desk at Wenlock Hospital in Mangalore, where many bodies of the passengers were kept. The help desk can be contacted on phones: 09946721947 and 09037291200.

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