Kasargode (Kerala), May 27 (IANS) With one hand in a sling from a dislocated shoulder caused by his ‘great escape’, K. Krishnan, 47, one of the eight who survived the Mangalore air crash, returned home at Mangad near Udma to a hero’s welcome.
Waiting for him anxiously was his 72-year-old-mother Vellachi, who even though told that he had miraculously escaped the crash that killed 158 passengers on board, could not believe her luck until she saw her son in flesh and blood.
Krishnan was travelling in the IX 812 Dubai-Mangalore flight that overshot the runway while landing at the Bajpe airport, about 20 km from Mangalore, Saturday.
Tears of joy trickled down his cheeks when he saw a large number of people waiting to receive him. It was a home coming that would remain etched in the minds of all those who had gathered here to receive their dear friend and relative.
‘I got my son back. This is certainly a gift from God,’ was all Vellachi could say amid tears as she kissed and hugged her son.
Accompanying Krishnan from Mangalore after he was discharged from a hospital was his wife Bindu and his two daughters, eight-year-old Keerthi and three-year-old Kripa.
Krishnan who works as a helper in a company in Dubai, said: ‘No doubt this is my second birth.’
Narrating his ‘great escape’, he said he still could not believe that he had managed to escape.
‘It was a huge sound that I heard when the aircraft came down and then everything happened quickly. I saw an opening in the aircraft above my head and in a moment I was scaling down the aircraft and fell into the greenery. Then I knew that the aircraft would burst into flames and in a few minutes it happened as I ran for my life,’ recalled Krishnan to IANS.
He remembers that the first thing he did was to call up home around 6.30 a.m informing his wife to say that he was safe.
‘I passed on the good news of my escape and the bad news of the aircraft going up in flames to my wife,’ said Krishnan.
But the five stitches that he has on his forehead constantly remind him of the accident.
‘I got many calls from my company inquiring about my health. I have also lost my passport,’ said Krishnan, who has been working in Dubai for the last nine years.
Asked if he is ready to fly back again, Krishnan could only smile.