Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Families Pack Bags in Anxious Wait for Missing Flight

The families of Indians in the missing Malaysian flight continued an anxious wait on Wednesday, with some flying to Kuala Lumpur in the hope of more news, while others have their bags packed ready to fly when more information is available.

There were five Indians and one Canadian of Indian origin aboard the Malaysia Airlines3786.KU +2.08% jet that disappeared over the weekend.

Chandrika Sharma, 51, an executive secretary at the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, a Chennai-based nonprofit, was on her way to a conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia via Beijing when the plane went missing.

“It’s already been a long wait. We haven’t heard anything in specific terms about the missing aircraft or what one should expect and how soon,” K.S. Narendran, Ms. Sharma’s husband, told The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Narendran said the last time he and his 18-year-old daughter had a chance to speak to Ms. Sharma was while she waiting to board the plane in Kuala Lumpur.

“I am packed and ready to go to Malaysia. But, I am waiting for more specific information from the Malaysian authorities,” said Mr. Narendran.

Kranti Shirsath, 44, a former chemistry lecturer from Pune in western India, was among the five Indians and she was traveling to North Korea to visit her husband, Prahlad Shirsath, who had been working abroad for a nonprofit. His contract is supposed to end on April 6, according to Ms. Shirsath’s brother Ashok Hunge. The couple had planned to come back to Mumbai when the contract expired.

Mr. Shirsath traveled to Kuala Lumpur after hearing news that the plane had gone missing. The couple’s two sons are waiting in Pune, said Mr. Hunge.

“We are still hopeful of any positive news,” he added.

Vinod Kolekar, his wife, Chetana Kolekar, and their younger son Swanand Kolekar were on their way to Beijing to visit their elder son Sanved when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished.

Swanand Kolekar finished his engineering course last year from the Rajiv Gandhi Institute Of Technology in Mumbai.

U. V. Bhosle, principal at the institute said Swanand “was a very good and sincere student”. He had hoped to pursue for higher studies from the Indian Institute of Technology after the completion of his engineering course, Mr. Bhosle added.

The Times of India reported that his Sanved Kolekar was planning to fly from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur with his wife to await news of the plane.

Follow India Real Time on Twitter @WSJIndia.

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