Headed for funeral, wedding, Gulf-based families perish

Dubai/Mumbai, May 22 (Calcutta Tube) A Saudi businessman lost 16 family members in Saturday’s plane crash in Mangalore who were going to attend his grandmother’s funeral. Another family from Dubai was on its way to a wedding when it perished in the tragedy.

Saudi Arabia-based businessman Sameer Sheikh lost 16 relatives, including his wife and two children, in the Air India Express tragedy that claimed 158 lives. All 16 were travelling to Mangalore to attend the last rites of Sheikh’s grandmother who had died Friday.

Sheikh was in Mumbai and waiting to catch a flight to Mangalore at the time of the incident.

A Gulf News staff member, her husband and their daughter were also among those killed in the disaster. They were to attend a wedding.

Manirekha Poonja, who worked in the Dubai-based daily’s finance department, was flying with her husband and their 17-year-old daughter for her cousin’s marriage, the paper reported.

‘When we heard the crash news, we got in touch with our relative in Mangalore. Her name is not among the survivors,’ a family member said. Poonja’s daughter Harshini was a student of media and communications.

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