Late on Wednesday evening, as Bettiah's Kumar family sat down to watch television, they had no idea that two promising youth from their family — Rahul Raj, 20, and Ratnesh Kumar, 23 — will die in a crash.
Raj had slipped into coma on Tuesday and was battling for his life, which is why he was being airlifted to Delhi's Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, with his cousin Ratnesh, 23. They were minutes away from the Delhi airport when the air ambulance ran into rough weather and crashed at Parwatia colony in Faridabad, killing around 12 persons — seven on board and five on the ground.
"His father and uncle have a successful business in pharmaceuticals. They wanted Rahul to get specialised treatment in Delhi," said Mukesh, a relative of Rahul Raj.
"Some other family members and I boarded the 5pm flight from Patna and reached Delhi in advance," said Mukesh, adding, "after the air ambulance took off around 8pm from Patna, we were told by the hospital staff that the patient was arriving." But fate had other plans. "Suddenly we started receiving calls from our relatives saying the plane carrying Rahul had crashed."
The family is crestfallen, to say the least. Raj's parents — Rajesh Kumar, 46, and Neelam Devi, 41 — and Ratnesh's father, Ravindra Kumar, 50, were in a state of shock. "My wife Mamata Raj has been hospitalised after becoming unconscious," added Kumar.Anup Kumar, Raj's uncle, is all praise for both him and Ratnesh, who were preparing for competitive examinations.
"They had been reasonably good students and had come from Bettiah to Patna over 18 months ago to attend coaching for competitive examinations."
Raj wanted to be an engineer and Ratnesh wanted to pursue business administration. Their dreams died young, mid-air. inputs by Prabhu Razdan