Killer cruise: Back home from the jaws of death

BANGALORE/CHENNAI: Thanking God for their ‘rebirth’, 11 Indian crew members of cruise ship Costa Concordia, which sank off the coast of Italy last week, arrived here with relief written large

Published: 20th January 2012 04:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:18 PM   |  A+A-

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Bangaloreans Vinod Kumar and Iftiqar Bashir Ahmed, survivors of the ill-fated cruise ship Costa Concordia

BANGALORE/CHENNAI: Thanking God for their ‘rebirth’, 11 Indian crew members of cruise ship Costa Concordia, which sank off the coast of Italy last week, arrived here with relief written large on their faces. While two crew members arrived at the Bengaluru International Airport by an Emirates flight, nine others from Tamil Nadu landed at the Chennai airport.

In Bangalore, Vinod Kumar and Iftiqar Bashir Ahmed told reporters, “We are happy and very relieved to be back.”

“My family members are not aware that I am alive. My homecoming will give them some relief,” Vinod said.

Recalling the terrible moments, the two said they heard a cracking sound from the rear of the ship at about 9.40 pm. At around 10 pm the captain ordered the passengers to abandon ship.

Following his order, the two, trained in rescue, started operations and began to shepherd frightened passengers onto lifeboats.

“Even after massive search operations in the dry area, we could not trace Russell Rebello Terance, the only Indian who is reported missing,” they said.

Asked about reports of the captain jumping off the ship, they said they were busy rescuing people to notice anything. Both said they were happy that the shipping company has “generously compensated” for the tragedy.

Regional Passport Officer K J Srinivasa, who received them, said another survivor Jamil Ahmed is expected to arrive on Friday with two other Indians.

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