Indian casualties in Ethiopian plane crash could be more than four

Indian ambassador in Ethiopia Anurag Srivastava tweeted to inform EAM that he has spoken to Mr Vaidya's son in Toronto who lost six members of his family and assured him of all assistance.

Published: 11th March 2019 11:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2019 02:00 PM   |  A+A-

In this image taken from video, rescuers search through wreckage at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after takeoff at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Sunday, March 10, 2019. (Photo | AP)


NEW DELHI: The death of Indians and their family members in the Ethiopian plane crash has gone up.

"I have spoken to son of Mr Vaidya in Toronto. I am shocked you have lost six members of your family in air crash. My heartfelt condolences. I have asked Indian envoys in Kenya and Ethiopia to reach you immediately. They will provide help and assistance in respect of all your family members," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Monday.

On Sunday late evening, Ms Swaraj had tweeted to say - "India Embassy in Ethiopia has informed me that the deceased Indian nationals are Vaidya Pannagesh Bhaskar, Vaidya Hansin Annagesh, Nukavarapu Manisha and Shikha Garg".

Meanwhile, Indian ambassador in Ethiopia Anurag Srivastava tweeted to inform External Affairs Minister that he has spoken to Mr Vaidya's son in Toronto and reassured him of all assistance through the Embassy.

"I am trying to reach the family of Shikha Garg who has unfortunately died in the air crash. I have tried her husband's number many times. Please help me reach her family," Ms Swaraj tweeted.

Indian embassy in Ethiopia has informed that for any assistance by families of Indian nationals who have died in the air crash, people may contact V Suresh, Second Secretary (Consular) Mobile: 251 911506852 and Mohan Lal, Head of Chancery, Mobile 251 911506851.

In a twitter missive tagging to Ms Swaraj, Ms Hiral wrote - "Hello, I am daughter in law of Vaidya family. Correct names are Pannagesh Bhaskar Vaidya and Hansini Pannagesh Vaidya. Also tried reaching two officers but no luck. Please reach us at 14377727702".

Ms Swaraj also directed Rahul Chhabra, Indian High Commissioner in Nairobi to provide all help and assistance to the concerned people. Among the deceased include Shikha Garg is a "Consultant with Ministry of Environment and Forests".

"She was traveling to attend UNEP meeting in Nairobi. I am trying to reach the families of other Indian nationals," the External Affairs Minister said. According to media reports, Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed Sunday morning shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The plane had 149 passengers and eight crew members on board, the airline said. 

There were no survivors. The cause of the crash remains unknown.

The US National Transportation Safety Board said it will send a team to help with the investigation. The plane was carrying passengers from more than 30 countries, media reports said. In a tweet, Union Science and Environment Minister Harshvardhan said - "My condolences to the families of four Indian nationals who have died in an unfortunate crash of Ethiopian Airlines. Sadly, a UNDP consultant attached to my ministry Ms Shikha Garg also died in the crash. My prayers for the departed souls."

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