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Lucky nine who missed ill-fated flight now believe in miracles

It was nothing less than a miracle or perhaps beginning of a 'second life' for the nine people who did not show up at the airport in Dubai to board the ill-fated Air India Express flight that crashed in Mangalore killing 158.

india Updated: May 23, 2010 16:47 IST

It was nothing less than a miracle or perhaps beginning of a 'second life' for the nine people who did not show up at the airport in Dubai to board the ill-fated Air India Express flight that crashed in Mangalore killing 158.

The nine, who either missed or decided not to board the flight, are Merwyn D'Souza, Vasantha Shetty, Thresiamma Philip, Mohamed Ashfaq, Husna Farheen, Sanjeeva BabannaHegde, Louiscarlo Vincent Geraro, Steven Rego and Kunhikannan Chandu.

Thresiamma Philip now believes in miracles as she had missed the Flight 812 after mistaking the departure time as 1.15 pm instead of 1.15 am.

The news of the plane crash in Mangalore yesterday came as a profound shock to Philip, 50, and other 'No-Shows'.

Philip, a nurse who for 29 years has lived in Dibba al Hisn, an enclave of Sharjah on the Indian Ocean, travels to see her family in India two or three times a year. She had never missed a flight until yesterday.

"God has given me a second life," said Philip. "I was supposed to go at 1.15am, but by mistake I thought it was 1.15 pm. By God's grace, like that it happened.

"I am for 29 years working here," she said. "This is the first time God made me misunderstand. I don't know how it happened."

Philip had planned to see her two adult daughters, who are postgraduate students in Mangalore. "I was thinking the flight was in the afternoon," she was quoted as saying by The National newspaper. "I packed everything and I slept."

After a peaceful night, she got a message in the early morning from her daughter alerting her to the crash.

"I (turned) on the TV and I saw there was an accident. On every channel they were showing my name. My mother was calling from India, my brother was calling from America, and everyone was calling and crying. They all knew I was coming today but they didn't know the correct time.

"I was thinking, 'My God, if I was there.' I have no words to say. People are coming to greet me. I don't know how to express my emotions. I was praising God like anything you don't know. I was shouting with joy. I caught my son and hugged my son."

Philip had earlier booked her flight for Thursday but her husband persuaded her to change her ticket to Saturday so that she could take some rest before travelling.

She said her husband felt that he would have been responsible, had she been on the doomed plane. "He said, 'How I would suffer, all my life would be spoilt. I changed the date and if something happened to you."

Philip said she was even more determined now to get back to Kerala to see her mother and family. She booked a ticket to go last night. "Nobody can believe it, it is actually a miracle from God."