Post-noon, clusters of visitors began streaming into Chiranjivi Soubhagya Society, in the Tukaram Nagar area at Dombivli, waiting for a final glimpse of airhostess Tejal Kamulkar (24), who died on Saturday in the Air India crash at Mangalore.
Neighbours who have been looking after the family said Tejal’s father has identified her body with the help of a gold chain on her charred body — the head and lower half were completely charred and beyond identification.
The ambulance arrived at 7.30 pm, merely 10 minutes after her picture and coffin had been placed inside the building for visitors to pay their respects.
After the photo and coffin were loaded in the ambulance, the funeral procession set out, with around 5,000 people, and reached the Shiv Mandir cremation ground, where the funeral was held in accordance with Hindu rites.
Besides the locals, the procession included social workers and Tejal’s college and school friends.
Tejal’s friend Pradnya Lele said: “She was a very nice girl, who had dreamt of flying since she was very young. She went after her dream, and achieved it, and then she was suddenly taken away.”
Local corporator Santosh Kene, who has known the Kamulkars for long, said: “They are a nice family, I’ve known them for around 15 years. It was a commendable achievement that a family such as this, with modest means, managed to raise their daughter to reach for the skies.”