Saturday, May 22, 2010

Northern Malabar in grief

KOZHIKODE/KANNUR: At least 50 of those killed in the Mangalore air crash on Saturday are believed to be Keralites, most of them from the northernmost districts of Kasaragod and Kannur. And most of them appeared to belong to the Muslim community. All day, the tragedy sent waves of shock, anxiety and grief through the area, which has several �Gulf pockets where the family breadwinners work in West Asia.

Kasaragod Collector Anand Singh told The Hindu from Mangalore on the phone that by evening as many as 38 of the bodies had been identified as those from Kerala. He indicated that 34 of them could be from Kasaragod district.

Going by the passenger manifest and information that was locally available, it could be surmised that the number could be upwards of 50, other official sources in Kerala said.

Through the day, large numbers of relatives of passengers were seen rushing to Mangalore. The stretch of National Highway 17 between Kasaragod and Mangalore saw an unusually high volume.

The region seemed to be bracing itself for receiving by Sunday the bodies of those killed.

As many as five of the seven persons who miraculously survived the accident were also identified as Keralites.

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