Will call once I land': UN consultant Shikha Garg's text to husband before crash

Will call once I land: UN consultant Shikha Gargs text to husband before crash

UN Consultant Shikha Garg, who died in the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday, had texted her husband.


New Delhi: UN Consultant Shikha Garg, who died in the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday, had texted her husband she would call him on landing, the local media reported on Tuesday.

The newly-wed, who was travelling to attend the annual assembly of the UN Environment Programme, had got married less than three months ago to Soumya Bhattacharya after dating him for three years. She had also taken part in the negotiations leading to the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Shikha's husband was also supposed to fly with her to Nairobi, but a last-minute change in plans meant he stayed back in New Delhi, The Times of India reported.

"I have boarded the flight and will call you once I land," Shikha had texted.

But before the husband could type a reply, his phone buzzed and a caller informed him about the plane crash, the newspaper said.

Mr Bhattacharya had also bought a flight ticket to Nairobi, but cancelled it because of an urgent meeting.

The couple, who lived in New Delhi, had instead planned a vacation after Shikha Garg's return from Nairobi.

On Monday External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she was unable to get in touch with Shikha Garg's family and appealed for help on Twitter.

Later, she said she had managed to speak to Shikha Garg's bereaved family members as well as those of other three Indians who died in the crash.

The Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed just minutes after an early-morning takeoff Sunday from Addis Ababa.

People holding passports from 35 countries were on board including some two dozen UN staff.

The aircraft was the same type as the Indonesian Lion Air plane that crashed in October, killing 189 passengers and crew.

The latest crash has prompted airlines across the world to begin withdrawing the model from schedules.

Airline regulators on Monday ordered additional maintenance checks on Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes but ruled out any immediate grounding of the fleet.

Spicejet and Jet Airways together operate 17 of the planes.

Jet, which has had to ground parts of its fleet in recent weeks due to its financial woes, said none of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was operational at present.

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