Gujarat: Parents of family missing in US hopeful of reunion
Sandeep’s parents, Babu Subramnium Thottapilly (68) and Rama (62), preparing to leave for the US, said that even 1% chance of their survival is enough to keep their hopes alive.Updated: Apr 12, 2018 15:40 IST
Surat-based relatives of a family reported missing in the US last Thursday, are hopeful of a reunion as they prepare to leave for California in search of them.
Sandeep Thottapilly (42), his wife Soumya (38) and two children, Siddhant (12) and Saachi (9) were reported missing when they were travelling from Portland to Los Angeles in an SUV on April 5.
The same day, a matching vehicle was believed to have been swept away by a swollen river amidst heavy rains, according to a media report in the US. Rescue efforts were hampered due to inclement weather and strong currents.
Sandeep’s parents, Babu Subramnium Thottapilly (68) and Rama (62), preparing to leave for the US, said that even 1% chance of their survival is enough to keep their hopes alive.
“Some parts of the car, like bonnet, have been recovered by local investigating agencies. We are hopeful that the family, which might have been caught in a bad weather, would be found,” said Dilip Irva, a close relative.
Parents have initiated the process to obtain visa to reach California, where the Thottapillys were settled, Irva said.
Babu and Rama are settled in Surat, and used to visit their son’s family in the US on regular intervals. Their other son Sachin, who is settled in Canada, has reached California.
“Sachin has been keeping the parents updated about the search operations, which have been hampered due to bad weather conditions,” said Irva.
According to Irva, the relatives last heard from the missing family members on the day of incident. They were reported missing after they did not reach California on the scheduled time.
On April 9, Babu had sought help of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj through Twitter.
Responding to his message, Swaraj said, “I am in constant touch with our consulate in San Francisco. They are coordinating with the police. Rest assured. We will spare no effort.”