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Man Feared Dead In Plane Crash 45 Years Ago Turns Up Alive

Anish Vij

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Man Feared Dead In Plane Crash 45 Years Ago Turns Up Alive

Featured Image Credit: Pastor Philip

An emotional family reunion awaits as a man thought to have been killed in a plane crash 45 years ago is about to return home.

Sajid Thungal, 70, left his home in India, Kottayam in 1974 for work, which involved organising events for Indian singers and dancers in Abu Dhabi.

Aged 22 at the time, Sajid was supposed to be on a flight with a troupe of performers who he spent 10 days working with and in October 1976, they were all said to have died in a plane crash.

All 95 crew members and passengers on board the Indian Airlines flight to Madras were said to have lost their lives after one of the plane's engines caught fire, causing the plane to crash.

Sajid Thungal, 70. Credit: Pastor Philip
Sajid Thungal, 70. Credit: Pastor Philip

Sajid did not contact his family after surviving the incident because he felt guilty.

In 1982 he moved to Mumbai and has lived there ever since.

Speaking to National News, he said: "I didn't get in touch with the family because I felt like a failure.

"I was meant to make my fortune in the Gulf and didn't.

"Then I kept thinking I would make something of myself in Bombay and then contact everyone. But that didn't happen either. In this way, 45 years passed."

Two years ago, Sajid was found by a friend and was believed to be in a terrible state and was taken to a nearby shelter.

Pastor K M Philip runs the shelter - Seal Ashram - and he instructed that an enquiry should be made at the mosque in Kottayam to find his family and to see if they still live in the same town.

Credit: Seal India
Credit: Seal India

Incredibly the imam actually knew of Sajid's family and were reportedly and understandably shocked to learn that he was still alive.

Pastor Philip said: "They were beyond shocked to hear he was alive. His father died long ago, but his mother is 91."

Sajid had a video call with his family but was believed to be overwhelmed with emotion and was barely able to speak.

He said: "I want to go home. If the people here hadn't looked after me, I would have died without being reunited with my family."

His brother, Mohammed Kunju, is due to arrive in Mumbai in a couple days (July 28) to pick his brother up and take him home.

Mohammed said that his family never forgot his brother and even went to Abu Dhabi to look for him.

Mohammed confessed: "I showed his photo everywhere but no one knew anything.

"Now that he is finally coming home, we aren't going to let him out of our sights."

Topics: plane crash, India

Anish Vij
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