Two Dubai residents have thanked their lucky stars they didn't board the Air India Express aircraft that crashed in Mangalore on Saturday. One had to change his travel plans due to his office workload while the other simply mistook the timing.
Kunhikannan Chandu, 51, manager of the Lulu Hypermarket in Al Qusais, was supposed to go to Mangalore to help his son get admitted to an engineering college. But, he missed the ill-fated flight because his boss piled on extra work.
"I had booked my ticket to fly to Mangalore on Saturday morning. I was going to help my son with his admission to engineering college.
"However, I was told by my manager that I could not go because there was too much important work to get through. I postponed my flight to Saturday evening and then I woke up to this terrible news," Gulf News quoted Chandu as saying.
"God has blessed me and my family; he intervened to save my life. I feel really shaken but I told my general manager this morning that he had saved my life."
Theresiamma Philip was also incredibly lucky as she mistook the timing and missed the Flight IX 812.
"I can't believe how lucky I am to be alive," recounted Philip to NDTV news channel.
"I was to take the flight, but mistook the a.m. to be p.m. and missed it."
"I was ruing having missed my flight when my daughter called up from Mangalore and asked me to put on the news. They were flashing the news, but even then I could not connect the two. It was only a little later when it dawned on me that it was my plane which had crashed."
At least 159 people were killed Saturday when Air India Express aircraft flying in from Dubai crashed while landing at Mangalore's "table top" airport. The plane overshot the runway and plunged down a cliff.