British family are critically injured as Indian jet crashes into houses estate

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The Independent Online

A British hospital doctor and his two children were critically ill last night after being among only seven survivors of an Indian air crash.

A British hospital doctor and his two children were critically ill last night after being among only seven survivors of an Indian air crash.

Dr Pramod Kumar's wife Kirin, however, died when the Boeing 737-200 crashed into a housing complex in Bihar State. Yesterday, the doctor's exhausted family maintained a vigil at the hospital in Delhi where he and his children remained in intensive care.

Devastated by the loss of her sister, Pooja Gupta said the family were nevertheless grateful that the others had survived. "They were sitting at the back. But I think it was destiny that saved them," she said. "We thank God. There were only seven survivors and out of that our family has three."

The family had been travelling on an Alliance Air jet when it crashed into a government complex a mile from Patna airport on Monday, killing 51 on board and five on the ground.

Yesterday Dr Kumar's family explained how locals had pulled him and his teenage son and daughter from the burningwreck of the jet.

The 45-year-old orthopaedic registrar had surgery for chest and head injuries. His daughter Pratchi, a 19-year-old medical student, and his son Ketan, 13, were also critically injured. Their relatives said the survivors had yet to be told that their mother had died in the crash of flight CD7412.

Kirin Rajgarhia, 41, was cremated in Bihar on Tuesday, after a post-mortem examination showed she had died of a heart attack in the crash.

Mrs Gupta said her niece Pratchi remembered little of the aftermath of the crash: "She started praying. She said she felt it nose-dive and start rattling. She lost consciousness. Next thing she knew she woke up in hospital."

Pratchi was due to start her second year at Edinburgh University in October while her younger brother was a pupil at Eastwood High School.

Mrs Rajgarhia, her husband and children had been visiting her family in Patna during a month-long tour of India when the crash happened. It had been their first trip back to the country after emigrating to Glasgow in 1983 and settling in an affluent suburb of the city.

Mrs Rajgarhia worked as an administrator at a nursing home in Barrhead while her husband took up his post in the orthopaedic department of the Victoria Infirmary.

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